Keyboard Shortcuts For Text Editing

Michael August 28, 2012

When typing thing on your computer there is nothing worse than having to take your fingers off the keyboard to do something with your mouse, whether it is deleting a few words, highlighting some text to perform some formatting or having to move your cursor to a different place within the text. These distractions, where the hand leaves the keyboard, slow down productivity. Luckily there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts for text editing which we will go over to hopefully help make your typing a lot more productive. Once you’ve managed to master these shortcuts you’ll find that you are composing documents, emails, etc in a lot less time.

Highlighting Text

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used to highlight text a lot more easily than taking your fingers off the keyboard and using the mouse/trackpad.

Highlight one character at a time - Shift+Left or Right Arrow

Highlight one line at a time - Shift+Up or Down Arrow Keys

Highlight one word with each arrow press - Shift+Ctrl+Left or Right Arrow

Highlight the current paragraph - Shift+Ctrl+Up or Down Arrow

Highlight text between the cursor’s current position and the end of the current line - Shift+Home

Highlight text between the cursor’s current position and the end of the current line - Shift+End

Highlight all text - Ctrl+A

Editing Text

Use the following keyboard shortcuts to help you edit text more quickly and efficiently.

Copy selected text - Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert

Cut selected text - Ctrl+X or Shift+Delete

Paste text at the cursor - Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert

Undo last action - Ctrl+Z

Redo last action - Ctrl+Y

Formatting Text

The shortcuts below can be used by either pressing the shortcuts and then typing what you want to be bold, italic, etc, then pressing the shortcut again to deactivate. You can also highlight text and then use the shortcut to format that piece of highlighted text.

Make text bold - Ctrl+B

Make text italicized - Ctrl+I

Underline selected text - Ctrl+U

Moving The Cursor

Moving the cursor to a different location doesn’t have to involve you pressing the right or left arrow a load of times, there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts to make this easier. On a Mac you’ll need to play around with the keys a little to find the right shortcut (sometimes on a Mac you’ll need to use the Alt key instead of Ctrl).

Move to beginning of current line - Home

Move to end of current line - End

Move to top of text entry field - Ctrl+Home

Move to bottom of the text entry field - Ctrl+End

Move up one frame - Page Up

Move down one frame - Page Down

Move to beginning of paragraph - Ctrl+Up Arrow

Move to end of paragraph - Ctrl+Down Arrow

Working With Whole Words

Use these keyboard shortcuts when working with whole words.

Move to start of previous word - Ctrl+Left Arrow

Move to start of next word - Ctrl+Right Arrow

Delete previous word - Ctrl+Backspace

Delete next word - Ctrl+Delete


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About Author


Michael is a technology enthusiast (a geek, some may say) who resides in Newcastle, England. He runs as a subsidiary of his expanding web design business, On Fire Digital Limited. When having a break from geeking around, Michael loves spending time with his wife and son. He also enjoys cooking and loves to enjoy a nice glass of wine. View all posts by Michael →

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