How to Select All in Word for Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selecting all within a Word document in Office 365 is as easy as a click of a button or a swift keyboard shortcut. This function is handy for quick editing, formatting, or copying of the entire text. Once you’ve selected all, you can make bulk changes to your document, saving you time and effort.

After completing this action, every piece of content in your document will be highlighted. This includes text, images, tables, and other inserted objects. You can then perform various actions on this selected content, like formatting, copying, or deleting.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to make a universal change to a Word document? Maybe you’re trying to switch fonts, apply consistent formatting, or copy the entire text into another document. Doing this manually can be tedious, especially if you’re working with a lengthy document. That’s where the ‘Select All’ function in Office 365 comes into play, and it’s a lifesaver.

Selecting all content in a Word document is a basic but essential skill for anyone using Office 365. Whether you’re a student compiling an assignment, a professional drafting a report, or someone who works with documents on a daily basis, knowing how to select all in Word is fundamental. It’s like knowing how to turn the ignition in a car; it gets the engine running for wherever you need to go with your document. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to utilize this simple yet powerful feature.

Related: How to Use a Signature Font in Word for Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Select All in Word for Office 365

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that selecting all will highlight every single item in your document. This includes all text, images, charts, and tables.

Step 1: Use the ‘Select All’ Command

Click the ‘Select’ dropdown menu in the ‘Home’ tab and choose ‘Select All.’

Choosing ‘Select All’ from the dropdown menu is the most straightforward approach. It’s an explicit command that leaves no room for error, ensuring that every piece of content is highlighted.

Step 2: Use the Keyboard Shortcut ‘Ctrl+A’

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

The keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+A’ is a quick and efficient method favored by many. It’s a universal shortcut across most applications, which makes it easy to remember. Plus, it’s a real time-saver when you’re knee-deep in document editing.

Step 3: Click Three Times on the Left Margin

Triple-click anywhere on the left margin of your Word document.

While this method is less commonly known, it achieves the same result as the previous steps. It might take a bit of practice to get the timing of the triple-click just right, but once mastered, it’s another quick way to select all.


Saves TimeSelecting all in Word helps you perform bulk actions, which can significantly reduce editing time.
Ensures ConsistencyApplying changes to the entire document at once helps maintain formatting consistency throughout.
User-friendlyThe various methods of selecting all are easy to use, making it accessible for all levels of computer literacy.


Accidental ChangesWith everything selected, there’s a higher risk of making unintended changes to your document.
System PerformanceSelecting all in a very large document can sometimes slow down or temporarily freeze the system.
Limited ScopeThe ‘Select All’ function doesn’t extend to multiple open documents; it only applies to the active document.

Additional Information

When using the ‘Select All’ feature in Word for Office 365, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind. For instance, if you have headers and footers within your document, they will also be included in the selection. This is great for applying universal changes but be cautious if that’s not your intention.

Another tip is to use the ‘Find and Replace’ function after selecting all. This is particularly useful if you’re looking to change a specific word or phrase throughout the entire document. Remember that ‘Select All’ is just a starting point; it’s what you do after that truly unleashes its potential.


  1. Click ‘Select’ and choose ‘Select All.’
  2. Use ‘Ctrl+A’ keyboard shortcut.
  3. Triple-click on the left margin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if ‘Select All’ isn’t working?

Ensure that your Word application is updated and that you’re not experiencing any system issues that might affect the functionality.

Can I select all in Word on a Mac?

Yes, the steps are similar for Mac users, with the keyboard shortcut being ‘Command+A’ instead of ‘Ctrl+A.’

Will ‘Select All’ include comments and footnotes?

Yes, selecting all in Word will also highlight comments and footnotes within the document.

Is there a way to select specific elements, like all images?

Yes, you can use the ‘Selection Pane’ to select specific types of content like all images or all shapes.

Can I undo a ‘Select All’ action?

Absolutely, just like any other action in Word, you can undo the ‘Select All’ command by using ‘Ctrl+Z’ or the undo button.


Mastering how to select all in Word for Office 365 is like having a Swiss Army knife in your document-editing toolkit. It’s an essential skill that can streamline your workflow, ensure consistency, and save precious time.

Just be mindful of the potential drawbacks and always remember to double-check your work. Get selecting, and take control of your Word documents like a pro!