How to Highlight on Your Computer

Highlighting text on a computer gives you the ability to copy or cut (or delete) text and use it in another section of a document or webpage or another program altogether. There are different ways to highlight on your computer—by using your mouse or keyboard—depending on the software or program you are using.

Woman with a laptop computer
credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Highlighting With Your Mouse

Step

Locate the block of text you want to highlight.

Step

Move your cursor to the first letter until your cursor changes to a vertical bar with two crossbars.

Step

Highlight by left-clicking at the start of the text block and drag your mouse to the end of the text block.

Highlighting With Your Keyboard

Step

Locate the block of text you want to highlight and position the blinking cursor at the start of it.

Step

Press and hold the "Shift" key.

Step

Use your arrow keys to highlight the desired text.

Highlighting in Spreadsheet Software

Step

Locate the column or row you want to highlight.

Step

Highlight a column by pressing "Ctrl" + Spacebar with the desired column selected.

Step

Highlight a row by pressing "Shift" + Spacebar with the desired row selected.

Step

Highlight multiple rows and columns by pressing "Shift" with a combination of the arrow keys.