Highlight Keyboard Shortcut

Highlighting text comes in handy when you need to copy it so you can paste it elsewhere or when the intention is to make the text stand out so you can easily focus on it.

This feature is one of the most popular Microsoft Office shortcuts and can really speed up your productivity when using Word, Excel, etc.

Highlight Shortcut

Use The Arrows And Shift Key To Highlight Text In Word

When highlighting text in Word, simply use the arrows and Shift key. To start off, use either the left or right arrow to go to the beginning of where the text you want to highlight starts. Once there, press and hold the Shift key. 

Either hit the left or right arrow, depending on the direction of the text you want to highlight. Remember that this shortcut will only highlight one character at a time. Continue until the whole piece of text is highlighted. This keyboard shortcut works for both Windows and Mac.

Use The Arrows, Shift, And Ctrl To Highlight Text In Word

If you would like to highlight more than one character at a time, the shortcut is similar to the one mentioned above, with an addition of the Ctrl key. First, use the left or right arrow to get to the text you want to highlight. 

Once there, press and hold the Shift key. Next, press and hold the Ctrl key. Ensure that you keep holding the Shift key so that both the Shift and Ctrl keys are pressed simultaneously. Use the left or right arrow to highlight each Word, depending on the direction you want to highlight. This method can be used on both Windows and Mac.

Use Shift And Up & Down Arrows To Highlight Text In Word

If you would like to highlight a paragraph instead of just one Word at a time, place the cursor where the text of the paragraph starts or where the paragraph ends. If you choose to highlight from the end of a particular paragraph, hit the up arrow. If you choose to highlight from the beginning, hit the down arrow. 

This is all done while holding down the Shift key. This highlight keyboard shortcut will highlight each sentence of paragraph one at a time until the entire paragraph is highlighted. Furthermore, you can place the cursor on a text of your choice anywhere in the paragraph, press and hold the Shift key and use the up or down arrow to highlight the paragraph to the beginning or the end.

Use The Shift Key And Pg Up Or Pg Dn To Highlight In Word

It is also possible to highlight either one screen up or down in Word. To do so, simply place the cursor where you want to start highlighting the text and press and hold the Shift key, then either press the Page Up to highlight one Page Up or Page Down to highlight the text one page down. These keyboard keys can also be Pg Up or Pg Dn.

Use Ctrl + A To Highlight The Entire Text In Word

The easiest way to highlight an entire text document in Word is to press and hold Ctrl and hit A. it does not matter where the cursor is.

Use Ctrl + The Spacebar Key To Highlight In Spreadsheets

If you would like to highlight an entire column on a spreadsheet like excel, move the cursor to the alphabet column you would like highlighted. For example, if you wish to highlight column C in excel, simply ensure that the cursor is on any number of the C column. Next, press and hold Ctrl and then hit the Spacebar key.  

Use Shift + The Spacebar Key To Highlight In Spreadsheets

To highlight a row instead of a column, simply replace the Ctrl key with the Shift. First ensure that the cursor is placed at the row number you want to highlight. For example, if you wish to highlight row 5, ensure the cursor is placed anywhere on the alphabet in row 5. Next, press and hold the Shift key and hit the spacebar key.

Use Shift And The Arrow Keys To Highlight In Spreadsheets

It is also possible to highlight several cells on a spreadsheet if you only want to highlight a specific section. Place the cursor on the cell from which you plan to start highlighting.

Once that is done, press and hold the Shift key and hit either the up arrow to highlight cells above, the down key to highlight cells going down, or the right or left arrow keys to highlight cells on the sides. For example, you can highlight cells ranging from B1 to B8.

Use Ctrl, Shift, + Spacebar To Highlight In Spreadsheets

To highlight the entire spreadsheet, press and hold Ctrl, then press and hold Shift and any arrow. It does not matter where the cursor is.

Use Ctrl, Shift, And Arrow Keys To Highlight In Browsers

There is also a keyboard shortcut to highlight text in browsers. This is similar to the keyboard keys used in spreadsheets. Place the cursor on the text you want to highlight. In most cases, you will have to double-click at the start of the Word. 

Then press and hold Ctrl followed by pressing and holding the Shift key and use the arrow keys to either highlight going up, down, left, or right, depending on the text you want to highlight.

Use Shift To Highlight In Objects Or Files

To highlight several files in the documents folder, the standard procedure is to highlight one file and drag the cursor to the rest of the files you want to be highlighted. 

However, with the keyboard shortcut method, you would need to highlight the file, press and hold Shift and click the last file you want to be highlighted. This will automatically highlight all the files, icons, etc., between the first and last selected files.

Use Ctrl And Alt Key To Highlight In Files Or Objects

To select random files, icons, etc., that are not next to each other, highlight the first file, press Ctrl and hold, press Alt and hold, and click on the various files you need to highlight. Keep in mind that both the Ctrl and alt keys much remain pressed.

How to Create Your Own Highlight Shortcut

It is possible to create your own highlight keyboard shortcut in Microsoft Office Word, here’s how.

  1. Customize can be selected from Word’s Tools menu. A customize dialogue box will pop up.
  2. The next step is to click the keyboard button. Another customize keyboard dialogue box will pop up.
  3. Select All Commands from the Categories list to start.
  4. Make the selection Highlight from the Commands list.
  5. Ensure the insertion point is positioned in the text box labeled “Press New Shortcut Key.”
  6. The shortcut key you wish to use for highlighting should be pressed. You might wish to use Shift+H, for instance.
  7. Once you have decided, click assign. This will ensure that the shortcut key is assigned to the command for highlighting.
  8. Simply close both the Customize Keyboard dialog box and the Customize dialog box by clicking OK.

You should now be able to use your customized highlight keyboard shortcut.

David Woutersen

Article by

David Woutersen

David is the founder of Outofthe925.com and has been in the social media industry since 2017. Since then, his mission has been to help others take control of their online presence. For some, this has been earning an income online; for others, it's teaching how to use social networks more effectively. And each year, he continues to help millions with strategy, troubleshooting, and inspiration.

Leave a Comment