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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Selecting Icons

Before you can delete, rename, move, copy, or otherwise tamper with any icon, you have to be able to select it somehow. By highlighting it, you’re essentially telling Windows what you want to operate on.

Use the Mouse

To select one icon, just click it once. To select multiple icons at once—in preparation for moving, copying, renaming, or deleting them en masse, for example—use one of these techniques:

  • Select all. Highlight all the icons in a window by using the “Select all” button on the Ribbon’s Home tab. (Or press Ctrl+A, its keyboard equivalent.)

  • Highlight several consecutive icons. Start with your cursor above and to one side of the icons, and then drag diagonally. As you drag, you create a temporary shaded blue rectangle. Any icon that falls within this rectangle darkens to indicate that it’s been selected.

    Alternatively, click the first icon you want to highlight, and then Shift-click the last file. All the files in between are automatically selected, along with the two icons you clicked. (These techniques work in any folder view: Details, Icon, Content, or whatever.)

    Tip

    If you include a particular icon in your diagonally dragged group by mistake, Ctrl-click it to remove it from the selected cluster.

  • Highlight nonconsecutive icons. Suppose you want to highlight only the first, third, and seventh icons in the list. Start by clicking icon No. 1; then Ctrl-click each of the others. (If you Ctrl-click a selected icon again, you deselect it. A good time to use this trick ...

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