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Text Editing Efficiencies – Part 2

Last week in part 1, I discussed the benefits of using the keyboard when working with text in InCopy. I focused mostly on navigating through text stories in InCopy quickly using a variety of useful keyboard shortcuts. This week I’d like to expand on those efficiencies by providing some useful keyboard shortcuts for selecting text in InCopy.

Selecting text using the keyboard

There are many similarities between navigating text and selecting text using the keyboard. With your cursor inserted somewhere within a text story, you can combine the shift key and the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to select one character at a time left and right or the up and down arrow keys to select one line at a time up or down from the location of your cursor. Note that selecting one line up or down selects an entire line from the current location of your cursor. For even more control, add the Command key (Mac) or the Control key (Windows) along with the shift key to those same arrow keys. This increases the amount of text that you can select considerably. Using the Cmd/Ctrl + shift keys in conjunction with the left and right arrow keys selects one word at a time and using the up and down arrow keys selects one paragraph at a time. Keep in mind that the first use of this shortcut selects to the beginning/end of the current word or paragraph. Successive use of these shortcuts selects the next word or paragraph. Finally, using the Shift + Cmd/Ctrl key in conjunction with the home and end keys on your keyboard will select to the beginning and end of a story respectively. If you’re working on a smaller sized keyboard without home and end keys, you can still achieve this result by combining the Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + fn (function) keys along with the left arrow (home) and the right arrow (end) on the keyboard. I like to use this shortcut when working in layout view to select all of the text that is overset in a frame. It can be a little bit of keyboard twister but the rewards are well worth it!

I’ve added a table of the keyboard shortcuts discussed in this post below for easy access later on. If you missed last week’s post, be sure to check it out and you’ll find a table of shortcuts for navigating text there as well. Did I miss a useful keyboard shortcut for navigating and selecting text that you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments section below. We’d love to learn more!

Description Mac Shortcut Windows Shortcut
Select one character left Shift + Left Arrow Shift + Left Arrow
Select one character right Shift + Right Arrow Shift + Right Arrow
Select an entire line up Shift + Up Arrow Shift + Up Arrow
Select an entire line down Shift + Down Arrow Shift + Down Arrow
Select one word left Shift + Cmd + Left Arrow Shift + Ctrl + Left Arrow
Select one word right Shift + Cmd + Right Arrow Shift + Ctrl + Right Arrow
Select one paragraph up Shift + Cmd + Up Arrow Shift + Ctrl + Up Arrow
Select one paragraph down Shift + Cmd + Down Arrow Shift + Ctrl + Down Arrow
Select to beginning of story Shift + Cmd + Home Shift + Ctrl + Home
Select to beginning of story (min keyboard) fn + Shift + Cmd + Left Arrow fn + Shift + Ctrl + Left Arrow
Select to end of story Shift + Cmd + End Shift + Ctrl + End
Select to end of story (min keyboard) fn + Shift + Cmd + Right Arrow fn + Shift + Ctrl + Right Arrow
Chad Chelius

Chad Chelius

Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, Author, and Consultant in the Philadelphia area and works with clients to improve their creative workflows using Adobe products. He's also the author of several courses on He specializes in PDF accessibility using Adobe InDesign and is a regular speaker at The InDesign Conference and PePcon.
Chad Chelius

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