Ignoring Special Characters when Double-Clicking

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 4, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


When Jose double-clicks on a word in a worksheet, Excel selects the entire word. If the word contains a special character, though, then the selection is truncated by that character. This means that less than a full word is selected. Jose wonders if there is a way to have Excel ignore the special character and select the entire word.

This behavior is consistent with how other Office programs (such as Word) allow you to select by clicking, as well. There is no way to change that behavior; it is hard coded into the program.

The workaround, however, is easy enough to implement. Let's say that you have a special character inside of a word, such as a bullet inside a company name. To select it, just double-click on the portion either before the bullet or after, but don't release the mouse button after the second click. Instead, simply drag the mouse pointer to whichever half of the word you didn't double-click on. Excel (like Word) continues to expand the selection by a word at a time until you release the mouse button. Thus, you would double-click and drag instead of just double-clicking.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13774) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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