Where can I configure in IE (or Windows) to stop it from smart selecting the words?

I want to select like this...

selection example image

... but IE simply doesn't allow me. I've figured it out for MS Word, but for IE, I've been unlucky with my searching so far.

(In MS Word, you can disable this by unchecking "When selecting, automatically select entire word" in Tools -> Options.)

  • I have this question too, for IE 11. Jul 8 '14 at 10:14
  • The specific setting in Word is File -> Options -> Advanced -> When selecting, automatically select entire word. I'm not sure if it's "Advanced" however, as I have Czech version of Word, which says "Upřesnit". It's second checkbox in that menu. Feb 2 '16 at 17:04

While I mostly want full-word selection (I regularly trip over the lack of it in other browsers where I need to be extra-precise in where I place the cursor which kinda sucks) for the few cases where it's unwanted I just switch to caret browsing with F7 and use the keyboard.

  • 1
    @Johannes: F7, caret selection, doesn't seem to be available in IE6.
    – Srikanth
    Aug 24 '09 at 12:55
  • You didn't say anything about a particular version, so I was assuming something reasonably recent.
    – Joey
    Aug 24 '09 at 14:55
  • That's a nice workaround. But not a solution. Jul 8 '14 at 10:14
  • This workaround works in general page text, but not in a text field. I have IE 11 on Win 7. Jul 8 '14 at 10:15
  • In a text field you don't need caret browsing for keyboard navigation to work ...
    – Joey
    Jul 8 '14 at 10:27

In IE8 on my machine, I can work around this. I start with the caret between the e|f of the first word. I move it to the next word, which results in the whole word being selected. I then move the mouse back over the first word and move it to the right again. This time, everything beyond the f is selected. For the last word, I move the mouse beyond it, then move it back to in-between o|n and now I've the exact selection.

Basically, by moving the mouse back and forth, you will be able to select just the part you need, although it is annoying. Don't know how to turn it off...

  • 3
    Really annoying Feb 24 '10 at 23:30
  • Thank you for this detailed explanation. I have managed to master this workaround, on IE 11. But with this technique we have to be very sensitive ! Jul 8 '14 at 10:21

From what I could find it seems they threw it out of IE after version 5.5 or something. Now it's hardcoded into IE.

The guys over at EE (kudos to msukach) suggested:

IF it is Hard coded, MS always has a way around it. Simply Click then hit SHIFT and select your letters. Normally it's a Shift then Click... but not in this case. Do the reverse.

Example: ct yo... from sele ct yo ur letters!

  • 1
    This workaround does not work on my IE 11 on Win 7. Jul 8 '14 at 10:24

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