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How do I select multiple items in Word so that I can move them at the same time?

Brass Contributor

I have a Word file with multiple text boxes and pictures on the same page. Unfortunately, the items are not centered on the page. I want to select everything on the page so that I can move them all at the same time.

9 Replies

@DBP-User the easiest way to select a variety of 'objects' on a page is to open the Selection Plane on the Home Tab


Once you have the Selection Pane open, then hold down your Ctrl key to select individual items you wish to work with.  


You can also 'Group' them together as 'one object' in the Arrange Commands that way it's easier to move them around as one:



If you want to know more about the Selection Pane, this may help : Manage objects with the Selection Pane (


If you want to know more about Grouping, this may help: Group shapes, pictures, or other objects in Word (



The selection option is not working properly.  The file originated from an OCR scan to an rtf file format. I then saved the file in MS Word format.  I noticed at the top of the screen it has a note "Compatibility Mode". IS that the cause of the problem? If yes, how do I turn off the compatibility mode? Will turning off the compatibility mode cause problems?

I saved the Word file a second time and the words "Compatibility Mode" disappeared. The selection tool is still very sporadic. If I draw a square around the area, it will not select all items within the square. I have tried holding down the CTRL key and add selections to the group. This does not work.
1.Pour tous selectionner Ctrl A
2.Pour tous copier CtrlC
3.Pour tous deplacer dans une autre page Ctrl V
For some reason CTRL-A does not work on this file to allow multiple selections. See my other notes.
When you open the selection pane now that it’s out of compatibility mode, can you individually select all the items on the screen? Is there any one component you can’t individually select? If there is one item you can’t select then it’s not an object, maybe it’s text or a background. Can you supply a screenshot of the objects in the selection pane? Do Ctrl-A with the selection pane open.

@Kirsty_McGrath_MVP If I go to the selection menu and select all, it selects everything on the page in question and two other pages. When I select the Selection Pane option it only shows four choices - there are seven different elements (pictures and text boxes) on the page. Note: Word is no longer in the compatibility mode.

OK so from what I can see (selection pane elements not highlighted on the page) and from you've said in your struggles, some have been placed into boxes and some is just text on the page so it won't come up as an object element. If you want the text to be in objects as well you'd need top place them into text boxes to choose from the selection pane. This is why you can't group them or move as a group. Typed Text (not in boxes) will need to be cut/paste to where you want it to go. The problem with the conversion from OCR is that you will get some elements in a box but others will be as you expect in word, the written word/text on a page. Either take the text completely out of boxes and put into column format on the page or move all text into text boxes to put in locations on the page.