Friday, January 17, 2014

To select or not select...selecting partial text...

I had the pleasure today of teaching a day long class on using MS Word to execute a template (and all the attendant skills a writer needs) as well as showing the class how to create a template. During the class, when we were talking about getting text from an existing document into an instance of a template, I recommended two ways of adding the text.

Method 1:
  1. Select a template to create a new document. 
  2. Open the document with the source text. 
  3. Highlight the text you want to copy.
  4. Copy and paste the text into the instance of the template. 
  5. Use Paste Special to paste the text as unformatted text so that you can apply the styles associated with the template. 
Method 2: 
  1. Select a template to create a new document. 
  2. Place your cursor in the document where you want to add existing text.
  3. On the Insert tab in the Text group, select the Object drop-down button. A pop-up menu opens. 
  4. Select Text from File. A navigation dialog opens. 
  5. Navigate to the file with the text you want to add to the instance of the template, select the file name, and then click the Insert button. All of the text from the selected document flows into the new document you are creating. 
The problem arose in my neat little world when a class member asked this question: Suppose I have a book with ten chapters and I just want to copy the text in chapters three to six. How do I copy just what I want?

I never do this task so I had only the two methods described above to offer as a solution. Another class member offered this nifty bit of instruction.

Method 3: 
  1. Open the document with the text you want to copy.
  2. Click your cursor before the first word in chapter three.
  3. Scroll to the end of chapter six.
  4. Hold down the Shift key and click behind the last word in chapter six. Word selects the text from chapters three to six. 
  5. Copy the text (Ctrl + C). Word places the text on the clipboard. 
  6. Select a template to create a new document.
  7. Click your cursor in the location where you want the copied text to appear. 
  8. Paste (Ctrl + V) the selected text into the new instance of the template. 
Regardless of how long I use MS Word, I'm constantly learning to do new tasks, which are frequently tasks that I would never have thought of on my own. So here's another example of a place where I had the a class member teach me to do something new. I'm writing about it here in case you have to do this type of task too. 

Click here to go to a list of shortcuts, including selection shortcuts. For the most part, I don't use selection shortcuts but that doesn't mean that you won't find them helpful.