More time-saving Word tips and tricks from Catch-Up Training

This blog includes three practical Word tips, and shows you how to:

  1. instantly select a word, sentence or paragraph
  2. quickly format a word, paragraph, range of cells, textbox or autoshape using the
    Format Painter tool format painter
  3. insert a non-breaking space to keep adjacent words together

Instantly select a word, sentence or paragraph

This tip is an oldie but a goodie, and particularly useful for people who do a lot of writing and editing.

Action Do this
Select word Double-click anywhere within the word
Select sentence Ctrl + click anywhere within the sentence
Select paragraph Triple click anywhere within the paragraph

Quickly format a word, paragraph, range of cells, autoshape or textbox using the Format Painter tool

This time saving tool has been around for years. It is very easy to use and can save you a great deal of time spent applying manual formatting.  You can use it in all Microsoft applications. It’s a great tool to use when you want to quickly apply the formatting of a particular:

  • character, word or paragraph to another word or paragraph in your document
  • range to another cell or range in your Excel workbook
  • autoshape, textbox etc to another in your document or presentation.

The Format Painter icon appears on the Home tab as format painter full.    There are many ways of using it:

  1. select the character, word or paragraph that has the formatting you want to copy.
  2. click the Format Painter icon. Your mouse pointer turns into a paint brush pointer format painter mouse.
  3. click or drag your paint brush pointer across the section to which you want to apply the formatting.

Using Format Painter on a non-contiguous range

To apply the same formatting to non-contiguous characters, words or paragraphs – when you first select the Format Painter, double-click the icon.  Your mouse pointer will continue to act as a Format Painter tool until you de-select the Format Painter icon or press Esc key.

Keep adjacent words together using the non-breaking space

Ctrl + Shift + spacebar

When Word calculates line width and wraps text to the next line, it tries to break the line at either a space or a hyphen.  Sometimes however, you may want Word to keep two adjacent words together on the same line, for example 5 kg, 500 km, or even Catch-Up Training.  To keep the number 5 and kg together you need to insert a non-breaking space (also known as hard space) between the 5 and kg.  To do this, you

  1. type the number 5
  2. hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys as you press the Spacebar
  3. type the units kg.

Word will then not break the line between 5 and kg.

Alternatively insert non-breaking space via Insert tab + Symbols

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. Select Symbols and then More Symbols. (Word displays the Symbol dialog box.)
  3. Click on the Special Characters tab (see below).
  4. Highlight the Nonbreaking Space


  1. Click on Insert.
  2. Close the dialog box by clicking on Close.

If you would like a particular topic covered, or have any questions, please contact me,  Until next time, remember “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”.

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