Command Editing

Just a quick question from a potential user:

Is there any way to use the command key to make selections instead of the option key?

I’ve used a Mac for over 20 years, and that’s one of the few things I would miss about Word. Shift command selecting is so much more ergonomical than shift option.

Just checking, might be a deal breaker (old habits and all of that).


Bill J.

Hi, Bill,

In my Word installation, shift-command drag just does what drag does (i.e. selects contiguous text from mousedown point to mouseup point), and shift-command-click just does what shift-click does (namely, selects contiguous text from click point to last insertion point). In short, the command key modifier is simply ignored by Word during these selection processes. Moreover, Scriv works in the same way as Word for selections made by drag and shift-click. So far so good.

So now, I am wondering what shift-command-selecting is doing for you in your installation of Word that is different. Can you say a bit more?


He may be referring to the shift-command-arrow selection method, rather than dragging with the mouse.

The only difference I’m aware of in Word is that shift-command-down (or up) will select from the cursor position to the end (or beginning) of a paragraph, whereas in Scrivener (and all Cocoa text apps) the same action selects everything from the cursor position to the end (or beginning) of the entire document. But perhaps that’s the difference Bill is talking about.

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Somehow, years ago, I got Word setup to make Shift Command select a word at a time, either direction.

I just found a solution, however, to make Shift Command, and a whole lot of other commands work in multiple OS X applications.

It doesn’t take rocket science, just following some fairly simply instructions

For further instructions refer to these two helpful links: … ystem.html


You found the trick for modifying OS X’s keyboard bindings. There is also a link to an application that makes this process a little easier than editing XML files. I’ve linked to it in the FAQ, entry VI.3.

KeyBindingsEditor, nice app.

Thanks so much for this suggestion!

Now I just have to get over grieving that I didn’t find out about this sooner …

Bill J.

(also in Portland OR)