Our guide to the different ways to select content in a Word template.
The way you select content can determine exactly what you can do with your selection, which means that, when it comes to designing label templates at least, some selection methods are better than others.
Label Templates – Selecting Individual Elements
For most objects, you select an item simply by left clicking on it once. For example, to select an image or shape, you simply left click once on that item. If your item has more than one element to it, however, you may need to click in a particular place to select the item. For example, text boxes are made up of a box and text within that box. If you click on the text, Word will highlight (select) the text. To select the text box itself, you need to click on the box when your cursor is positioned over one of the edges of the box. Likewise, to select a table you must move your cursor to the top left corner of the table and click on the four headed arrow icon that appears.
To select text, you need to “highlight” the specific section of text you are interested in. To do this, position your cursor at the start of your required text. Click and hold down the left button and move your cursor to the end of your required text. Release the button and your required text will now be “highlighted” by a light grey background.
Label Templates – Selecting Multiple Elements
To select multiple elements, you can use a point and click method or a highlighting method.
In the point and click method, you hold down the Control Key (Ctrl) on a Windows keyboard or the Command Key (⌘) on a Mac keyboard and left click on each item you want to select.
NB: to select images, you need to change their Wrap Text format. Left click on the image to bring up the Picture Tools Format tab at the top of the page. Click on Wrap Text, and select “Tight” or “In Front Of Text”.
In the highlighting method, you use your cursor to establish an area and any items within that area are selected. Move your cursor so it is positioned above and to the left of the first item within your chosen area. Click and hold down the left button on your mouse as you drag your cursor below and to the right of the last item within your chosen area and then release the button. This highlights (selects) any items within the rectangle or square formed by the starting and finishing positions of your cursor.
The point and click method is best for individual objects (e.g. images, shapes, text boxes etc). The highlighting method works best if you need to select individual objects AND a section of text.
Label Templates – Selecting An Individual Cell And/Or Its Contents
Word label templates are basically tables where each cell in the table represents a blank label on your sheet (or a gap). If you want to copy a design from one cell/label into the rest of your cells/labels, you can select the entire cell or just the content you have added.
While you might think you just need to select the content, it’s actually more effective to select the entire cell. This way, you select the content AND the layout and formatting options that you have used to get your label design just right.
- To select just the contents of a cell you can use the methods described above in “selecting multiple elements”.
- To select an entire cell, move your cursor into the bottom left corner and quickly triple click the left button.
Label Templates – Selecting Multiple Cells
When creating a sheet of sticky labels that share the same design, the best way to complete your label template is to add your design to the top left label and use copy and paste to fill in the remaining blank labels.
If there are no gaps between your blank labels, you can select all of the cells at once using the highlighting method. Position your cursor in the top left cell. Click and hold down the left button and move your cursor into the bottom right cell. Release the button and selected cells will be highlighted by a light grey background.
If there ARE gaps between the labels you CANNOT use this method. It will add your design to the cells that represent the gaps between your blank labels and destroy the alignment of your template.
You may be able to speed up the process by selecting entire columns using the point and click method. Position your cursor at the top of the column you want to select. When it turns into a small solid black arrow pointing downwards, left click once to select the entire column. You can select multiple columns by holding down the Control Key (Ctrl) on a Windows keyboard or the Command Key (⌘) on a Mac keyboard as you click above each column.
We’ll take a closer look at using copy and paste to complete a label template in next week’s post.