Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When you double click text, the word under your cursor gets selected. How does the operating system decide what gets selected? It stops at whitespace characters, and certain symbols, for example, when you click 'pan' in pan|cake, only pan is getting selected. But not all symbols act as separators, for example, double clicking pan_cake will select the entire thing. And, there are differences between applications, for example, in chrome pan.cake will be seen as two separate words, but double clicking pan.cake in textEdit on the mac will select the entire thing. How is this decision made?

share|improve this question

closed as too broad by Xavierjazz, Kevin Panko, random Dec 11 '13 at 5:21

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why the off-topic–close-vote? ಠ_ఠ – Synetech Dec 11 '13 at 1:47

Each operating system and possibly application will have it's own user interface/user experience guidelines that define how this works.

share|improve this answer
Try triple-clicking for instance... – Doktoro Reichard Dec 11 '13 at 0:14
On the mac, that always selects the entire line AFAIK. – bigblind Dec 11 '13 at 4:12

Every application, including operating systems, have an event handler called (at least in the Windows world) OnClick. Its up to the application application developer, not the OS, to decide what to do when a user clicks on text. Not every single, double, right, left, middle, etc click does the same thing across applications.

A good example of this would be the Chrome browser. Most editable text in applications will place the cursor where you clicked on the string. However, in Chrome, they changed this action to select all the text. This makes sense, as most often people want to change the entire address.

share|improve this answer
However, in Chrome, they changed this This is to be expected because the Google thinks it always knows better than everybody else in all circumstances, no exceptions (even whenver they happen to be proven wrong). ಠ_ಠ – Synetech Dec 11 '13 at 1:45

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