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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link Web Browsers
Sometimes but increasingly often, a text link isn't just one simple clickable word within a larger text passage but instead an entire block of text inside a table or frame. Although it is convenient that you can click just anywhere in a text area to open the associated link, it is very frustrating that selecting the text to copy it may be very difficult.

To be able to copy the text of a linked text, just hold the option key before dragging the mouse cursor. Clicking with the option key down will immediately download the link to your disk, but dragging will let you select the text of the link without actually opening that link.

I couldn't find any similar hints. This works with Firefox 3.5.5 and possibly other versions.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I used Firefox 3.6.3. It also seemed to work in Chrome (5.0.x) but not in Safari (4.0.5) for me.]
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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: arcticmac on May 27, '10 07:58:35AM

In Safari, I sometimes take the approach of "right click" (which selects the entire text of the link, but puts up a contextual menu over it) and then click elsewhere to make the menu go away (leaving the text selected). Not nearly as cool as the behavior the hint mentions, but at least it's a start.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: auntchilada on May 27, '10 11:19:20AM

i use this method but mash the escape key to dismiss the contextual menu.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: fulmar2 on May 27, '10 08:18:45AM

This did not work for me in Safari - though the right click method did work. Selecting Partial links, though, would be a challenge. Thanks for the right click hint, arcticmac (I just used the hint to copy in your name, ha ha)!



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: zenarcher on May 27, '10 08:32:19AM

worked fine for me in Safari 4.0.5.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: Stormchild on May 27, '10 09:58:32AM

You are probably mistaken. It's not working in Safari for anyone else.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: musselrock on May 27, '10 08:58:05AM

In Safari, hold down control and option and click on the link text to select it.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: Stormchild on May 27, '10 09:55:25AM

The option key is not required for that. Simply control-clicking (or right-clicking) has the same effect.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: lukeandrews on May 27, '10 09:27:30AM

You can always select text that is a link if you start your drag slightly to the right of the end or to the left of the start. Place your mouse over the link, and move it slowly to whichever side until it changes from the link "hand" cursor to the regular arrow cursor. Once it does, drag back over the text, and presto: selected link text.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: slb on May 27, '10 11:00:09AM

EXACTLY! No modifier keys or other voodoo needed!



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: marksch on May 27, '10 04:49:14PM

I discovered this feature of Firefox while visiting a website that didn't allow for selecting links "from the side".

---
Economy-x-Talk
Have your own custom software created
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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: Stormchild on May 27, '10 09:57:14AM

This must be a special feature implemented in Firefox and Chrome only. It does not work in Safari or any other app, as far as I can tell.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: asmeurer on May 27, '10 11:08:46AM

It probably should have said in the hint title that this was a Firefox only hint.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: crarko on May 27, '10 11:26:44AM

I wasn't sure if it is. I guess I'm still not sure. I believe it doesn't work in Safari.

~Craig



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: G-Mantle on May 27, '10 12:16:09PM

Thank you so much for posting this. I had been using the workaround that lukeandrews mentioned above, but the option-select method is great because you can start selecting from anywhere in the block.



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: chsnyder on May 28, '10 05:47:18AM

Um, kinda works.

I can select the text, but the link target is downloaded immediately I release the mouse button (in Firefox 3.6), which is more annoying than useful. Yet this seems to work for other folks, so maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

Edited on May 28, '10 05:48:42AM by chsnyder



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: marksch on May 29, '10 03:01:23AM

I had the some problem once in a while. It looks like you need to hold the mouse just a little longer. There are also websites that use a JavaScript that still runs and opens/downloads a link regardless of whether you keep the option key pressed.

---
Economy-x-Talk
Have your own custom software created
http://economy-x-talk.com



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Selecting just the text if the entire text block is also a link
Authored by: zakwilcox on May 29, '10 12:18:17PM
I've had the "Copy Link Name" FF add-on installed for this for ages, but it's nice to know it can be done another way. Also with CLN if I want just part of the text then I have to copy it all and fix it when I paste it, but I can do partial copies with this method.

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