How to Select a Vertical Block of Text in Word

This week’s tips is one of those you may seldom use but on the rare occasions you need it it can be a real time-saver. Word has a useful feature that lets you select a vertical block of text in a document.

I find that often when I copy indented text from a web page into a document, the pasted text will have several spaces at the beginning of each line. You can of course select these spaces and delete them but in a bigger block of text it is tedious having to do this repetitively for each line.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could select the spaces at the beginning of each line and delete them all in one step?

To select a vertical column of text, press and hold Alt then drag to select the column of text. In the example above, press Alt then drag to select the spaces at the beginning of each line.

In cases like this, I generally start dragging right next to the first word in the first line and then drag down and to the left. That way you don’t run the risk of dragging too far and selecting the first letter on each line.