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How to select non-contiguous text in Google Docs




Google Docs. Image: Adobe Stock / dennizn

Google Docs, which is part of Google Workspace, supports non-contiguous text selection. That is, you can select multiple chunks of text from different parts of the document. The ability to select non-contiguous text saves steps and avoids process iterations.

For example, consider the task of copying 20 sections of text scattered throughout a document. The process is simple. Select the text, copy and paste. For 20 sections of text, make 20 individual selections-copy-paste.

The ability to select non-contiguous text in Google Docs allows you to select a section of text 20 times and then copy and paste it once. The changes are subtle, but important.

See: Google Workspace Cheat Sheet: Complete Guide to 2022 (TechRepublic)

How to select non-contiguous text in Google Docs

To select non-contiguous text chunks, you typically use the Ctrl key (or command key on macOS) and the trackpad or mouse.

First, select another section of the word, paragraph, or text as you normally would. Double-click / tap to select a word, triple-click / tap to select a paragraph, or click / tap and drag to select any section. Your document. The first chunk is selected at that step.

Then hold down the Ctrl key (using the command key on macOS) and select the next segment. Double-click / tap, triple-click / tap, or click / tap and drag again. Repeat this step as many times as you need to select all the desired sections of the text.

5 things you can do with selected non-continuous text

After selecting non-contiguous text, you can perform various standard actions. The steps described below assume that you are using Google Docs on Chrome on your desktop or laptop computer.

Apply format

Once selected, you can change the format of the selected text.

Change font or font size Add bold, italic, underline, or highlight Change color

Access all these options from the Google Docs menu or[フォーマット]|[フォーマット]Check for additional formatting options at. Text menu. These lesser-used settings include strikethroughs, superscripts, subscripts, or case sensitivity (lowercase, uppercase, case, etc.).

In addition, you can apply any kind of style that suits your paragraph. Change normal text to heading 2, title, or other paragraph style. If you select an entire paragraph, this is a great way to reposition, add numbers, or convert text to a checklist, among other options.

However, keep in mind that paragraph formatting applies to the entire paragraph, so every paragraph for which you select a word is affected by the paragraph change. Make sure the text selection corresponds to the chunk of the document you want to change.

Add a link

You can use the Insert | Link command to add a link to all the selected text. For example, in marketing materials, you may want to make sure that all references to a product name link to a product page. You can select multiple instances of the product name.[挿入]|[挿入]Choose. Link once and paste the link. This way, instead of adding the link repeatedly, add it once.

Comment or add an emoji reaction

You can also use non-contiguous selection to add comments that apply to different bits of text. Select the text and select Insert |. Comment and then add a comment. When added this way, the comment will appear as associated with all parts of the selected text. For those who prefer to comment graphically, Insert | Emoji Reaction works as well, displaying emojis in relation to the selected text.


Select the text section, then[編集],[編集]Select in the order of. Copy command. This will copy all the selected text so you can paste it elsewhere. For example, you can select important parts of the text in one Google Doc and paste them into another Google Doc. When you copy, each selected word, set of words, and paragraphs are pasted on separate lines.

Save and keep

[保存して保存]Select to add all selected text sections to your new Google Keep memo. however,[保存して保持]Is only available from right-click (or two-finger tap menu). To access it, select all the required items, then hover over one of the selected text segments and right-click (or tap with two fingers on the touchpad). This, along with some other options[保存して保持]A menu appears in which you can select.

The important thing is that the cursor position is important when doing this. If the position is outside any of the selected text segments, the item will not be selected. Make sure the cursor remains over the selected segment.

See: Google Docs Tips for Advanced Users (TechRepublic Premium)

What is your experience?

If you’re used to selecting non-contiguous cells in Google Sheets, you may be pleased that non-contiguous text selection now works in Google Docs as well. In either case, the ability to select multiple items and then process all selected items at once is welcomed as a workflow improvement.

What are the most frequently performed task types for non-contiguous text selections? Have you tried extracting text sections from one document to another or a Google Keep note? Or would you like to use this process to streamline how the text in the headings and other parts of the document is formatted?

Please contact Twitter @awolber to find out how non-contiguous text selection affects the text selection and manipulation of Google Docs.




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