Re: [OT] Word select in Microsoft products?

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 10:40:38 EDT

Thanks for the detailed message. I tried it out, and if I have a sentence like

quick ..... fox

I can select from between the "qu" to between the "fo" by waving the mouse past the ends of both words, then backing up. I never would have guessed the behavior, but it seems to work. Thanks!

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Chris Pratley
  To: 'Mark Davis' ; Unicode List
  Sent: Monday, October 02, 2000 13:12
  Subject: RE: [OT] Word select in Microsoft products?

  There are two edit controls in the apps you mention which do AWS, and the calling application is responsible for turning this behaviour on/off (I am assuming it can be turned on/off programmatically). They are mshtml.dll (OE, IE, and HTML messages in Outlook) and riched20.dll (plain text and RTF messages in Outlook, and WordPad).


  For WordPad, the switch to control riched20.dll is in View/Options/Options/Automatic Word selection.


  In mshtml at least, in your example, you can start selecting from the middle of “Only”, select across “the”, then back up to include just the “t”. So the selection *can* be made with a mouse, but I agree it is a pain.


  Word has a similar but more refined correction algorithm when AWS is on (actually mshtml.dll behaviour is cloning older Word behaviour). To select parts of words, just backup slightly, and the AWS is turned off for the right side or left side, depending on which way you backed up. So if you really need to select the second half of a word AB and the first half of a word CD, you click between A and B, drag-select to the right until AB is completely selected by AWS, back up slightly to undo the AWS for AB then forward select to C. Sounds complicated, but the real-world common case is that people want to casually select word-blocks of text, and only occasionally want to use the mouse to do intra-word surgery. (this is backed up by user data). The goal for this feature then is to make it relatively easy to cancel out of AWS when necessary without having to disable it permanently. In past versions of the AWS feature, there were certain selections that could not be made with a mouse at all, and that was bad J


  Everyone has their preference though, which is why you can turn this off (at least in Word). Personally I find in your example below it is more efficient to use AWS to delete both words (so I can be sloppy with the mouse) and then when my hands are back on the keyboard, type “The”. For me, typing the extra “he” is faster than carefully positioning the selection in the middle of “the”, even with AWS off. Word handles the spacing between words so I just type.


  Sorry I can’t help you with the other products Mark. Maybe someone else knows…


  Chris Pratley

  Group Program Manager

  Microsoft Word


  Sent with office10 2125


  -----Original Message-----
  From: Mark Davis []
  Sent: October 2, 2000 10:00 AM
  To: Unicode List
  Subject: [OT] Word select in Microsoft products?


  [Off topic -- just looking for information from a broad audience.]


  Anyone know how to turn off the extremely annoying automatic word select (AWS) in Microsoft products? This is the "feature" that causes dragging outside of a word to behave like double-click. I often want to select part of a word, such when editing at the start of a sentence. For example, in the sentence


      Only the finest products...


  to remove the word "Only" I would click after the first "t", then drag back to include "Only t", then type a T. I have been doing this for years; to select words you just double-click.


  In Word and PowerPoint, I can turn off AWS with Tools > Options > Edit > "When selecting, automatically select entire word".


  Excel, FrontPage, Access, Notepad, the desktop (e.g. in filenames), and the vast majority of non-Microsoft products do the right thing WITHOUT setting an option.


  What I can't do is figure out how to turn off AWS in Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Outlook, or WordPad. These products are also -- of course -- very inconsistent. When selecting characters in the main window, IE does do AWS. But not in the Address bar, dialog boxes, file selection, etc. Anyone have an idea?

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