Help! Wait! Stop! MS Word is running away!
August 22, 2005 2:27 PM   Subscribe

One of the Dumber Microsoft Word Questions Ever. When I try to scroll up or down a document in MS Word to highlight a select amount of text, Word whips through at lightning speed and highlights everything in the document before or after my cursor.

So instead of the three sentences below my cursor that I want to highlight, Word highlights the remaining 97 pages of my document.

This would be a minor inconvenience except that the document in question is now several hundred pages long and working on it involves near-constant cutting and pasting. It's driving me absolutely batty.
Believe me when I say that I've serached Word help for advice on this, but if it's there, I can't find it.

Any suggestions? If it matters, this isn't a problem in other programs- such as Outlook Express- where I scroll through documents and highlight text; the document scrolls by at a pace someone who is not a superhero can handle.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use the SHIFT button and the arrow keys? I prefer keyboard shortcuts anyway.
posted by jamesonandwater at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2005

I hate this. I think the speed of the scroll is determined by how close the mouse cursor is to the bottom of the screen (or bottom of the document). On Windows, I find the "scroll speed zone" to be very narrow, and thus very hard to use. I resort to using SHIFT to select text, rather than the mouse.

On a Mac, the "scroll speed zone" is wider, and thus a lot easier to use. I wonder if there is any way to tweak that on Windows?
posted by teece at 2:37 PM on August 22, 2005

I suspect the cause of your problem is mousing over that fine line between "still in the body of the document" and "outside the margins of the document."

Personally, and I don't know how unusual this is, over the years I've gotten into the habit of starting my selection at the end of the text I want to cut/copy, then going up to the beginning. The end of a paragraph is much less likely to be right on that fine line, and I experience the "uber-select" with much less frequency.

That is, when I'm not using the keyboard for selection. Highly recommended.
posted by o2b at 2:39 PM on August 22, 2005

You might like to:
1. place the cursor at the start of your selection,
2. scroll using the mouse so that the end-point is visible, and
3. shift-click at the end

Much easier than mouse-dragging, and often quicker than using just the keys on their own.
posted by yt at 2:41 PM on August 22, 2005

I prefer the SHIFT key rather than click-and drag. Move the cursor to the beginning of the text to be copied or cut. Click the left mouse button. Then use the scroll bar to scroll wherever you like through the document. Once you've found the end of the text to be copied or cut, hold down the SHIFT key and use the mouse to point to and click the endpoint. Voila.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:43 PM on August 22, 2005

This has been an issue with Word since forever - under Windows 3.1 you could fix this behaviour by slowing down the keyboard repeat rate, but that has no effect under XP - either use shift & click as others have suggested or get a mac - Word 2004 for mac does scroll sensibly.
posted by Lanark at 3:17 PM on August 22, 2005

Shift Down or Ctrl-Shift down will highlight the next line or the next (either) page or paragraph. (Cant'remember which, but it's one of the fastest ways of highlighting a bunch of text.
posted by seanyboy at 3:31 PM on August 22, 2005

Some mice have the features of fast scrolling which is easier to turn on accidentally than to turn off. Hitting Esc will normally turn it off.
posted by TheRaven at 3:57 PM on August 22, 2005

Use the mouse wheel to scroll while you are selecting.

Click to start the selection, then use your middle finger to scroll down while keeping the mouse in place. Get the endpoint of your selection onscreen and finish the selection.
posted by fleacircus at 4:24 PM on August 22, 2005

According to this site, if you keep the cursor close to the document edge you will stay in the lower scrolling rate instead of lightspeed.

Personally I use the keyboard or shift-click, but I certainly understand the frustration.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:30 PM on August 22, 2005

I reccomend against working with word files that big. I'd break your report/novel/whatever into chapters, and reassemble before submitting if necessary. The text should be easier to work with, and your scrolling problem should be more managable. But, more importantly, my experience is that Word goes a little crazy when you a open a file of more than 50-100 pages. I know people used to warn against it, because of the higher risk of crashes and file corruption. *Maybe* MS has fixed the bugs by now, but I kinda doubt it.
posted by armchairsocialist at 7:45 PM on August 22, 2005

I second fleacircus on using the mouse wheel to scroll. Fixed it for me.
posted by Penks at 8:51 PM on August 22, 2005

Shift + Click

Nice tip, YT, works great on a web page as well!
posted by SparkyPine at 11:52 AM on August 23, 2005

Go to the top of the area you want to highlight.

Press F8, which locks in the beginning of the highlighted area.

From there, you use any method you like to get to the end of the area you want to highlight -- mouse down, the down arrow, the Page Down key, the Find function (Ctrl-F), the GoTo function (Ctrl-G), etc.
posted by KRS at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2005

This has been driving me nuts for years. Thanks guys!
posted by phewbertie at 1:49 AM on August 24, 2005

Thank you all!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:05 AM on August 24, 2005

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