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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging Web Browsers
Although you can't see a cursor when you click on text in Safari, it seems that one might be there. If you click on a position in a line of text in Safari, and then Shift-click somewhere else in the page's text, it will select all of the text from the first place you clicked to the place you Shift-clicked, despite the lack of a visible cursor. This makes selecting really big clumps of text a lot easier, as you can drag your scroll bar to get from one end of the selection to the other, rather than dragging the cursor and waiting for it to autoscroll. Just be sure not to click anywhere on the page between your first click and the Shift-click!

[kirkmc adds: This seems obvious, yet it probably isn't for many people. Since you can double-click a word to select it in Safari (as well as in other browsers), it stands to reason that there is a "cursor" there somewhere. You can also triple-click to select a paragraph.]
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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: kikjou on Nov 02, '06 08:43:07AM

I see a cursor in Safari. The pointer becomes a beam when I hover it over text. MacOS 10.4.8 on G5.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: googoo on Nov 02, '06 09:45:10AM

The poster means a text input cursor that you see in applications like Word, not the text-select mouse pointer. Most browsers, including Safari, show this cursor in text input boxes but not elsewhere.

-Mark

PS. Great hint.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Nov 07, '06 08:19:16PM

Actually, the author of the hint means you can't see an insertion bar cursor after you double-click on some text to highlight/select it. Hovering the mouse pointer over some text, before any text has been selected, will show an insertion bar, but after you select some text, it changes to a mouse pointer.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: Mike Perry on Nov 02, '06 10:36:40AM
Perhaps handiest of all, if you triple-click to select a paragraph, then shift clicking on a paragraph further down the page will select both paragraphs and all those in between. It definitely beats click-dragging.

Apple is quite clever to put all these little tricks into their applications. They need to get clever enough to find a way to let us know about them.

--Mike Perry, Untangling Tolkien

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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: AJB on Nov 02, '06 12:29:31PM

I don't really think they do. One of the defining characteristics of the Mac is (and has ever been) the underlying user interface consistency. Basically if it works that way in one application, it will probably work that way in another. Since 1984, there has been one keyboard short cut to quit an application (compared to countless inconsistent methods on windows apps). The same goes for cut/copy/paste.

To demonstrate this consistency, try command clicking on the title bar (above the URL entry area) of this window, and try it on a finder window, and an open document window. You should see a menu appear with the locations back to the root, either in the file system or on the web server. It's a paradigm of consistency that underlies the mac experience.

So to switchers who aren't used to the way things should be, because you have been trained to have to relearn every app from scratch, I say "if you expect it to work that way, it probably does".



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: JadeNB on Nov 02, '06 01:09:58PM

This method of text selection (but not the command-click action described by AJB, if I understood correctly) also works in Firefox. In fact, Firefox has a setting, accessibility.browsewithcaret, in about:config which will make web pages behave exactly like non-editable text documents (with a visible cursor and all). I find this kind of browsing confusing, but it's probably useful for some people.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: osxpounder on Nov 02, '06 02:52:36PM

I'm reading this site with Firefox 1.5, and I take that bisected I-beam cursor for granted -- it's always been there, IIRC, though I was unaware of the special accessibility setting you describe, and I haven't tried to change *any* settings by browsing to about:config.

I do, however, always disable "Allow text to be selected with the keyboard" and "Begin finding when you begin typing" because I found that one or both of these options interferes with my using the Spacebar to scroll down. I've been using the Spacebar to scroll down, a screenful at a time, in web browsers since the earliest web browsers I saw [I think NCSA Mosaic did this], and I'd rather have that, since it's something I do on almost every web page, whereas searching for text is something I only do occasionally.

Perhaps I get the special text cursor because I disabled these options. I'm happy to note that I am still able to select text via the keyboard, if I first click in the text. From that point, I can use SHIFT with arrow keys to select text, so I didn't have to give up much in order to get the Spacebar back to the function I've been accustomed to for over a decade.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: Azathoth on Nov 02, '06 05:18:47PM

this doesn't seem to be mac specific.
i'm currently at a Ubuntu box with Firefox and it works in the exact same way!



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: JackSloth on Nov 02, '06 04:11:23PM

And command + C will copy it. And the delete button will erase text.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Nov 07, '06 08:23:01PM

Well, hitting the Delete key after you select some text in a web page won't delete the text from that page.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: Serj on Nov 02, '06 09:58:03PM

You think you know everything about those little tricks and bang! someone pulls another rabbit out of the hat. Thanks for the tip !



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: chris_on_hints on Nov 03, '06 10:01:25AM

Works in Camino too.



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Select large blocks of text in a browser without dragging
Authored by: billclinton on Nov 03, '06 12:31:35PM

Works in OmniWeb, too. Of course, OmniWeb uses the Webkit, like Safari.



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