Stop Automatically Selecting Entire Word in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 has a feature that automatically selects an entire word when you click on part of a word. This can be convenient in some cases, but problematic when you only want to select a few letters to edit. Here’s how to disable this setting in PowerPoint 2010:

Why PowerPoint 2010 Selects Entire Words

By default, PowerPoint 2010 is configured to select an entire word when you click on part of a word. So if you click on the letter “P” in the word “PowerPoint”, the entire word gets selected.

This behavior occurs because of a setting under the PowerPoint Options:

File > Options > Advanced > Editing options > “When selecting, automatically select entire word”

Having this option enabled can be helpful in some cases. For example, it allows you to easily select and format entire words without having to carefully drag across the whole word.

However, a major downside is that it becomes difficult to select just a few letters in a word to edit. When you try clicking on a couple letters, the whole word gets selected instead.

How to Disable Automatic Word Selection

If you find that PowerPoint’s automatic word selection gets in the way more than it helps, here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Open PowerPoint 2010
  2. Click the File tab
  3. Click Options
  4. Click Advanced in the left pane
  5. In the Editing options section, uncheck the box next to “When selecting, automatically select entire word”
  6. Click OK

Now when you click on part of a word in PowerPoint, only those letters will be selected instead of the whole word.

This makes it much easier to select and edit a few letters within a word as needed.

Tips for Selecting Text in PowerPoint

With the automatic word selection disabled, here are some tips for precisely selecting text in PowerPoint 2010:

  • To select an entire word, double click on the word
  • To select multiple words, click at the start of a text section, hold down Shift, and click at the end
  • To select a few contiguous letters in a word, carefully drag across just those letters
  • Use the arrow keys while holding Shift to select letters
  • Press Ctrl+A to select all text on the current slide

Spend some time practicing precise text selection with the new setting disabled. It may take some getting used to, but will allow much finer editing control.

When to Re-enable Automatic Word Selection

For some tasks like applying text formatting to entire words, having the automatic word selection enabled can be beneficial.

If you find yourself missing that feature, simply re-enable it by:

  1. Opening PowerPoint Options
  2. Going to Advanced > Editing options
  3. Checking the box for “When selecting, automatically select entire word”

You can toggle this setting on and off at any time to get the type of text selection behavior you need for your current task.

Customizing Other PowerPoint Settings

In addition to automatic word selection, PowerPoint 2010 provides many other options you can customize under the File > Options menu, including:

General options:

  • Interface settings
  • File locations
  • User information

Proofing options:

  • Spell check behavior
  • AutoCorrect settings

Save options:

  • AutoRecover and backup settings
  • File saving locations

Language options:

  • Editing languages
  • Display languages

Advanced options:

  • Performance settings
  • Image and font handling

Take some time to browse through the various options and customize PowerPoint’s behavior to suit your preferences.


Disabling the automatic word selection in PowerPoint 2010 gives you more precise control when selecting text to edit. It takes some adjustment if you’re used to having entire words selected instantly, but is worth exploring if you regularly need to edit text.

As always, don’t hesitate to re-enable the feature if you decide the default behavior works better for your purposes. Customizing settings is all about optimizing PowerPoint for your personal workflow.