Alternatively referred to as Control A and C-a, Ctrl+A is a shortcut key most often used to select all text, or other objects while in a graphical user environment.
How to use the Ctrl+A shortcut key
On Apple computer keyboards, the Ctrl key is labeled as "control."
Ctrl+A in Excel and other spreadsheet programs
If you're editing the contents of a cell and press Ctrl+A, nothing will happen.
Ctrl+A in Microsoft PowerPoint
In Microsoft PowerPoint, the Ctrl+A shortcut key has the following functions.
- In the Normal view, select all contents of the slide.
- In the Slide Sorter view, select all slides.
- In the Slide Show view, change the pen tool to the normal cursor.
Ctrl+A in Word and other word processors
In Microsoft Word and other word processor programs, pressing Ctrl+A selects all of the text in the document. If you're working with a document that has multiple pages, this keyboard shortcut will select all text on all pages.
Using Ctrl+A in an Internet browser
All major Internet browsers (e.g., Chrome, Edge, Firefox) pressing Ctrl+A selects all text, images, and other objects on the page. If you do not want to select everything it may be better to use the mouse to select only what you want.
Using Ctrl+A in PuTTY
With PuTTY the Ctrl+A keyboard shortcut moves to the beginning of the line currently being typed.
Related keyboard shortcuts
Below are links to related keyboard key and keyboard shortcut pages.