In Windows, it seems the default behavior when double-clicking a word is to select the word, and any whitespace following the word (spaces or tabs). You can see this behavior across all programs, so I'm assuming this isn't a per-program setting. This may be common to other operating systems, but I don't know from personal experience.

Is this something that can be configured in the OS anywhere or is it something I just have to live with?

  • 7
    Isn't that a stupid feature. – MVCylon May 12 '11 at 12:58
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    Ugh, I hate this so much, yes. (And I hardly ever use the mouse for text navigation and I /still/ hate it!) – Shinrai May 12 '11 at 14:21
  • This is so annoying. Have been using linux/mac for a long time and now that I am back to Windows, I remember what a pain this was. While I am trashing on Win, let me also add that I hate how preferences for every app is hidden in a different menu, unlike in Mac where the settings are always in the main app menu and has a fixed shortcut too which almost all the apps respect. – Harsh Jul 23 at 6:30

As far as I am aware, this is the default behaviour.

What I often do is to double-click the word and then hold shift and press the left arrow key (application allowing). I have found this to be the quickest method rather than attempting to precisely select the word under scrutiny with the mouse which is often a little tricky and fiddly.

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I double click on the word, but hold the second click and drag it slightly. For some reason selecting multiple whole words (double-click and drag) doesn't select the whitespace afterwards, so you can double-click and drag just the one word.

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  • I think this is the best solution... * Single word: Double-click and drag slightly left to de-select the trailing space * Multiple words: Double-click first word then drag to right to select additional words without trailing spaces – Brian Adkins Mar 14 '19 at 13:43
  • I cannot replicate this solution in Word 2019. – vic Feb 24 at 19:13

A quick way to select a word without the trailing space

  1. Double-click a word.
  2. Without releasing the mouse button after the second click, move the mouse a tiny bit to the left.
  3. Release.

Tested on Windows 10 (build 17758).

demo animation

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Single click after the last character of the word and press CTRL + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW

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Simplest method for me: double click first selects word with following space, then hold shift and single click on same word (or click on any another word to extend selection). This selects word(s) without space.

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  • Where does this work?  It doesn’t work in Notepad, WordPad, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word. – Scott Aug 26 '18 at 15:05

Easiest way to do this is double click, but do not release the mouse button on the second click. Then drag up (or down) slightly while still holding the mouse button down. You now will only have the word selected without a space on the end.

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On my Windows 10 PC I had assigned a macro to my middle mouse button to take off the last character from the selection and then copy it to the clipboard.

The macro from the MS Mouse & Keyboard Center looks like this: copy without trailing space macro

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  • Can you assign a macro on double click event to perform that too, on a Windows 7 box? – psychoslave Aug 21 at 10:10
  • The software assigns macros to keyboard keys and mouse buttons not events. – Paul B Aug 27 at 19:28

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