Firefox 3 Tip: How To Select Multiple Areas Of Text


fflogo.jpgOne big improvement with Firefox 3 compared to previous versions, is with selecting multiple areas of text on a web page. In previous versions, if you wanted to select multiple text areas, you needed to find an add-on or deal with the limited built in functionality.

Now with Firefox 3, you can easily select multiple discontinuous areas at once, select an entire paragraph, or select multiple words.

Selecting Multiple Areas Of Text

With this new option you can make an initial selection as usual and keep adding text chunks by pressing the CTRL key (Command key on Macs) while making additional selections.

Just highlight an area, then move your mouse to another area of text that you want to select, press the CTRL key and drag the mouse over the area of text.


After selecting the text areas, right click on an area and select copy (or press CTRL+C) and the text will be copied to the clip board where you can paste it in a text file, document, etc…

Select An Entire Paragraph

When you have a need to select an entire paragragh, just move your mouse pointer to the beginning of the paragraph and triple-click. The entire paragraph will be selected.

Unfortuanatly you can not continue to select other paragraphs using the CTRL key.

As a work around, what you can do, is select the largest paragraph by triple-clicking, then use the CTRL key (and drag over the paragraph) to select other paragraphs.

Selecting Multiple Words

While you can single click and drag to select multiple words or an area of text, double-clicking and dragging will select each word, one at a time.


At first you may not realize why you would ever need to use this functionality when you can just single click and drag over an area text.

But it will come in handy when you just need to select text at the end of a line, where single-click and dragging has the tendency to continue selecting text on the next line when you don't want it to. Double-clicking and selecting word by word gives you greater control in those situations.

While Firefox 3 main features will over shadow small improvements made to the browser, you will find the new functionality with selecting multiple text areas, a big improvement for every day usage.

Comments on Firefox 3 Tip: How To Select Multiple Areas Of Text Leave a Comment

June 18, 2008

Vinod @ 6:46 am #

Excellent tip!!. This is very useful during research.

AM @ 10:35 pm #

One correction: looks like you can select a para by triple clicking anywhere in that para, not necessarily at the beginning.

I miss the select-two-words-by-clicking-in-front-of-the-second-word feature from FF2…

June 19, 2008
August 21, 2008

Jack @ 3:03 pm #

Thanks for this helpful tip. It's a shame they eschewed with the Firefox 2's great way of highlighting two words by clicking the space between them. Sucks.

December 2, 2014

Doc Smith @ 11:52 am #

Downloaded Firefox, and tried to use Ctrl key to highlight multiple paragraphs, as suggested.

It just didn't work. Operator error? Don't think so… how hard can it be?
Highlight, move to next paragraph, press Ctrl key and highlight next paragraph.


1st highlight disappeared, and it only wants to highlight one area at a time.

Any ideas??

December 7, 2017

Sundaram @ 1:07 pm #

Great tips here! Thank you 🙂

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