How to Select All in Word Document: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you need to select all text in a Word document, it’s pretty straightforward. You can either use a keyboard shortcut or a simple option in the Word ribbon. Stick with me, and I’ll walk you through each method step-by-step to make sure you get it right.

How to Select All in a Word Document

By following these steps, you’ll be able to highlight all the text in your Word document efficiently. This is particularly useful when you need to format the entire document, copy everything to another document, or simply want to make sure you haven’t missed any text.

Step 1: Open your Word document

First, make sure the document you want to work on is open.

If your document isn’t already open, go ahead and launch Microsoft Word, then open your desired document by clicking ‘File’ > ‘Open’, and selecting your file.

Step 2: Use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + A)

Press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘A’ simultaneously on your keyboard.

This is the quickest and most universal method to select all text in your document, regardless of what version of Word you are using.

Step 3: Use the Ribbon option

If you prefer not to use keyboard shortcuts, go to the ‘Home’ tab, then find and click ‘Select’ in the Editing group. Choose ‘Select All’ from the menu.

This method might take a bit more time, but it’s a good alternative if you’re not a fan of keyboard commands.

Step 4: Verify the selection

Check that all the text is highlighted in your document.

This ensures you didn’t miss a step and that everything is ready for the next action you plan to take, like copying or formatting the text.

Step 5: Perform your next action

Now that everything is selected, you can format, copy, delete, or do whatever else you need to the entire document.

This step is the payoff for your effort, giving you full control over every piece of text in your document.

When you’ve done this, you’ll see all the text in your Word document is highlighted. You can now perform any action you need on the entire document, such as copying, formatting, or deleting text.

Tips for How to Select All in a Word Document

  • Use Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts are your best friend. They save time and effort.
  • Check Your Version: The method might slightly vary depending on the Word version you’re using, but the general steps remain the same.
  • Ribbon Method: The ribbon method is helpful if you’re using a different keyboard layout that might not support the ‘Ctrl + A’ shortcut.
  • Click and Drag: If you’re having trouble with these methods, you can always click at the start of the document and drag to the end. It’s not as efficient, but it works in a pinch.
  • Mouse Triple Click: Triple-clicking the left mouse button in the margin will also select all text in some versions of Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if ‘Ctrl + A’ doesn’t work?

Sometimes, certain keyboard settings or software conflicts can disable shortcuts. Try using the Ribbon method instead.

Can I select all in a specific section?

Yes, simply click and drag to highlight the specific section or use the ‘Select’ option in the Ribbon to choose specific parts.

What if I only want to select text, not images?

Unfortunately, the ‘Select All’ function will select everything, including images. You’ll need to manually deselect images if they are included.

Does ‘Select All’ work in other programs?

Yes, ‘Ctrl + A’ is a common shortcut that works in many other programs like Excel, PowerPoint, and even web browsers.

How can I deselect everything after?

Simply click anywhere in the document, and the selection will be removed.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Press ‘Ctrl + A’.
  3. Use the ribbon option as an alternative.
  4. Verify all text is highlighted.
  5. Perform your next action.


Voila! Now you know how to select all in a Word document. This simple yet powerful skill is incredibly useful, whether you’re a student, an office worker, or just someone trying to make a quick edit. By knowing both the keyboard shortcut and the ribbon method, you’re well-equipped to handle any Word document that comes your way.

Being able to quickly select all text can save you a lot of time and hassle. It’s like having a magic wand to instantly highlight everything, letting you focus on what you really want to do next. Whether it’s copying and pasting to a new document, applying a universal format, or just making sure you haven’t missed anything, knowing how to select all is a fundamental skill that enhances your overall Word proficiency.

So go ahead, give it a try! Practice makes perfect, and soon selecting all text will become second nature to you. If you found this guide useful, keep exploring other Word features to become even more proficient. There’s always something new to learn!