How to Select All on Your Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Several contemporary occupations need the use of computers to conduct work and daily duties, such as responding to emails. At times, you may need the help of a work computer to highlight and copy or erase large amounts of text or pictures. Understanding the "Select All" function on various devices can make it easier to highlight these sections and complete your work more quickly. In this article, we discuss how to select all on your computer, smartphone or tablet so you can copy or delete text and images more efficiently, and also discuss general benefits of computer literacy.

How to select all on a computer

Follow these steps to know how to select all on a computer:

1. Press "Ctrl-A" or "Command-A"

On most computers, you may just press the "Ctrl" or "Command" key together with the "A" key to select everything on a page. When you hit this key combination, your device highlights the whole page of the program or webpage you're using, which is excellent for copying large amounts of text or pictures from websites. When you use these key commands in a word processor or text editor, your device normally picks just editable text and graphics included inside the program.

2. Find the edit menu and "Select All"

Another method to select all within an application is to seek the "Select All" function in the "Edit" menu at the top of the screen. This enables you to select all elements inside the program rather than the whole page. Typically, the edit or editing option is located on the application's toolbar. Navigate through the different tools until you come across one that reads "Select All."

3. Right-click and choose "Select All"

Using your mouse, you can also right-click anywhere on a page to bring up a menu that lets you choose "Select All." While this option doesn't work within every text editor or word processing application, it's useful for webpages and within emails as it's a simple way to select text and images with your mouse. Depending on where you click on the screen, your device may highlight only the text within a text editor, like the body of an email, or all the text on a page.

4. Choose an action

Once you've selected the appropriate items on your screen, you can choose an action. With your text or images selected, right-click your mouse again to open a menu of options that let you copy, cut, paste and print the selected items. You can also use more keyboard shortcuts to perform these actions on your selected items, like "Ctrl+C" to copy and "Ctrl+V" to paste. If you no longer want to select all, simply click somewhere on your screen to deselect the text and images.

Related: Computer Literacy in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

How to select all on a smartphone or tablet

To understand how to select everything on a smartphone or tablet with a touchscreen, consider these steps:

1. Activate the selection tool

Double-tap the first word or picture you wish to select using your finger or a stylus for your device. This enables the application selection option on the majority of mobile devices. You can then slide one end of the selection tool over the rest of the text and images you want to highlight. While this approach is excellent for picking all objects in an application or on a website, it's often more helpful for selecting individual items.

2. Double-tap and choose "Select All"

On a mobile device, a faster approach to choose numerous things is to double tap in the general region of a word or picture, which often presents a menu with available selections. To highlight all available text or pictures on a page, look for the option to choose all and click it. While you may pick objects within text editors, email programs, and websites on most mobile devices, you can't always highlight text or pictures within an application's user interface.

3. Find the "Select All" option in the menu

Certain programs, particularly those used for taking notes or that are smaller versions of word processors, have a menu or toolbar toward the top of the screen. You may look for the "Select All" capability in the tools or edit sections and hit it to select all things within the application's editable region. This is an effective way when utilizing certain programs for composing notes or emails, as hitting these buttons is often faster than touching the screen to launch a menu.

4. Choose an action

After selecting your text or photos, you may pick an action from the menu on your smartphone or tablet. For programs, you may be able to locate the desired actions on the toolbar, which includes functions for copying, pasting, cutting, and changing the font and format of text or pictures. Alternatively, you may double-tap the screen once again to bring up a menu, including these activities. Tap somewhere on the screen to deselect the items.

What does it mean to select all on an electronic device?

When you select all on an electronic device, you choose every item that's selectable on a screen. Typically, items include text and pictures that you can highlight with a cursor which you can control with a finger on a touchscreen or a mouse. You may choose these objects using your finger on touchscreen devices, or with a mouse or keyboard on a computer, and then conduct activities on them. You may only be able to pick particular objects or do specified activities depending on the website, application, or device you're using.

When your device chooses everything on a website or inside a text application, it determines which highlighted elements are accessible and which are not. For instance, although you may be able to copy a website with photos using the "Select All" function, you may be unable to copy whole videos in this manner.

Why you may select all on your device

There are several reasons to select all on work-related electronic equipment. For example, you may want to erase a huge quantity of text from a word processor, which you may do by selecting everything within the program and then using the backspace or delete key. Additionally, you may highlight a whole site and copy the information for future reference in an email or text editor.

If you work with word processors or picture editors, you may pick many objects to edit them simultaneously, such as increasing the size of a font. The "Select All" feature is very helpful for swiftly saving, deleting, or editing pages of text or pictures.

Related: Basic Computer Skills (Plus Ways to Highlight Them)

Benefits of computer literacy

Here are some reasons it's important to develop your computer literacy is skills:

More job opportunities

As a job seeker, possessing computer literacy skills expands your work options. It's a vital ability that most employers look for while conducting applicant interviews. Emphasizing your computer and software abilities on your resume helps you appear more professional while looking for jobs.

Computers are everywhere

Computers are very common in today's culture. Computers influence your everyday life, from running your email software to social networking programs. Understanding the fundamentals of how computers function and how to use technology enables you to be more productive and successful in your personal and professional lives.

Related: The Best Computer Skills to Develop For Work

Good basic abilities

Even having basic computer literacy abilities gives you a competitive edge in the business. From the beginning of your employment, you may undertake critical computer-related tasks with minimum supervision. By demonstrating a firm grasp of computer technology, you may add value to a position by being willing to learn company-specific tools and software. This reduces the time an employer may spend training you on fundamental concepts before introducing you to more complex or company-specific platforms.

Improvement in workplace productivity and efficiency

Computer literacy improves workplace productivity and efficiency. For instance, you can complete more work in less time and with more precision. You can maintain more accurate records, manage data digitally, and do instant document searches. Computer literacy abilities increase work efficiency by streamlining processes and freeing up resources for other duties.

Better communication

Having a solid foundation in computer literacy enables you to remain current on events in real time and communicate instantaneously with individuals all around the globe. Understanding computer programs such as search engines and email service providers enables more efficient communication, which is critical in today's business. Through computer software, employees may easily exchange papers, meeting notes, and project information.

Explore more articles