Is there a keyboard shortcut or other method for Google Docs that is equivalent to Ctrl+click in MS Word which allows you to select several parts of the text that are not adjacent to each other?

I would like to be able to make all of the separate text selections first and then apply a change one time to all of them rather than repeating the operation for each separate text selection. For example, I have a Google Docs plug-in which allows me to change the case of the selected text but you have to navigate a menu tree each time you use it. I want to change the text of each my section headers to all-caps but it would be tedious to change them one at a time.

2 Answers 2


A simple one-step non-adjacent text selection functionality like Ctrl + click is not currently available in Google Docs. However, I have found a work-around which is able to achieve non-adjacent text selection in just a few steps which can still be a big time saver if you need to make changes to more than just a couple selections.

  1. Make the first text selection
  2. Use one of the keyboard shortcuts to format the text with a style that is not being used elsewhere in your document. For example, if you don't have any bolded text already, you can use Ctrl+B
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each of the additional non-adjacent text selections
  4. Right-click in the middle of one of the bolded (in this example) text areas and click on the "Select all matching text" pop-up menu item. This will select all of the separate bold text areas simultaneously.
  5. You can now copy or make whatever changes are needed to all the selected text at once. Use Ctrl+B again to remove the bold formatting from all of the selected text simultaneously.
  • 1
    Is this still the best answer? Google in 2022 considers this an acceptable solution for highlighting non-contiguous text in their word processor? This is arguably among the most rudimentary operations possible for a word processor, next to actually typing words and highlighting contiguous text. How is it still broken? Apr 6, 2022 at 18:30
  • 1
    It seems to be. I just tried it again and Ctrl + click non-contiguous selecting is still not a built-in feature. I tried all combinations of Ctrl, Shift, and Alt. Shift + click works to make one long contiguous selection, but as I recall that has always worked. I guess it's not enough of a priority to add that feature in, though I find it invaluable at times.
    – Fonebone
    Apr 10, 2022 at 22:03

I noticed that the method mentioned by Fonebone also works with colored text, highlighted text, text in a certain alignment (left, centered, and right), font, and font size, as well as the aforementioned emboldening, italicizing, underlining, and striking through. Basically, the text in your group will have to be the exact same, but you will have a seemingly infinite amount of stylings to choose from.

  • Thanks. This could be useful if you have a document that you need to copy/paste stuff from frequently in several distinct groupings. Make each group a different color or highlight. I bet you could even have items in more than one group, for example by using text color and highlighting.
    – Fonebone
    Apr 10, 2022 at 22:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.