I often copy links in Chrome with the context menu, to paste into a chat window (Adium). This process selects the link on copy. When I cmd+tab back to my browser window, the text is still selected and it interferes with keyboard control of the given website. This forces me to move my hand back to the trackpad, find some non-active space (page bg usually), and click to deselect. I'd rather not have to move my hand from the keyboard to do this.

I've tested this in Chrome, Safari, and TextEdit. I could maybe solve it in Chrome with a userscript, but I'd like a more general solution for other programs as well.

edit Another way of looking at this problem is that OSX selects the word or link on right click with a context menu, but doesn't clear the selection when the context menu is closed. Is there a way to force deselection of text on context menu close?

5 Answers 5


cmd+a (select all) cmd+shift+home [at least tested on PC with control+shift+home]

  • Please note for those coming across this answer who are on a notebook, Chromebook, or otherwise don't have access to a full extended keyboard: in most cases, you likely either have an Fn keyset or CrOS keyboard layout. For Fn, there's typically an OS setting on whether or not you'll need to hold or toggle Fn key to input the corresponding key. As for CrOS layout, it doesn't show this explicitly but the Home key is Search + Left Arrow. I just tested and Control + Shift + Search + Left Arrow works on my Chromebook, thanks OP!
    – Arctiic
    Mar 1, 2022 at 20:07
  • Ctrl+A, Ctrl+Shift+Home is the only one that worked reliably for me, but it is awkward. My first go-to is to hold tab: if there happens to be an input on the page it'll focus and clear your selection. If it doesn't work I resort to this.
    – Jamie G
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:15

Tapping an arrow key will deselect the text.

  • 4
    No dice in Chrome. That works in TextEdit and other "editing" fields like a textarea where you have a blinking cursor to move, but not with plain text or a link on a webpage.
    – jjt
    Mar 13, 2014 at 0:06
  • FYI, this still doesn't work on Chrome in 2023.
    – kenmistry
    Jan 9, 2023 at 12:31

Hold down the control key and single mouse click on the page.


Holding down the insert key deselected the item.


On Ubuntu Chrome Ctrl+A(Shift+a) deselects text. (This shortcut also toggles tab list, but not whilst text is selected.)

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