Although I'm a Mac user for several years now, this noob-question is stuck in my head since the beginning:

I'm selecting a text by holding down Shift and moving around with the cursors.

Imagine I start at one line, press Down and then want to move my selection end to the beginning of the line (just like pressing Left all the way): how do I do that on Mac?

Pressing Home or Cmd+Left always moves the beginning of the selection to the beginning of its line (which is also kinda cool, but doesn't help me here).

I've even made a gif about this to demonstrate:

Demonstration video

1 Answer 1


Once you grasp the pattern, it's quite easy...

To move to the next/last letter - or
To move to the next/last word - Opt ⌥ or Opt ⌥
To move to the beginning/end of a line - Cmd ⌘ or Cmd ⌘

Hold Shift ⇧ whilst doing any of these & it will add to your current selection if you are moving away from your original insertion point, otherwise it will remove...
...with the exception of Cmd ⌘ , which will always add.

As you've discovered, all these functions use your original cursor point, not the beginning/end of your current selection. That would perhaps require a little mind-reading, to know which end you wanted to work from ;-)

For your specific situation, if you start with Shift ⇧ held, then Cmd ⌘ , then just - 'to end of line plus one character'
Alternatively, holding Shift ⇧ , then followed by a number of Opt ⌥ would be quicker than just - 'to middle of line below minus several words, one at a time'

  • That is quite a nice overvie of the selection operations. Thank you, but basically you're saying, that my original request simply isn't supported in macOs, right? :) Sep 30, 2016 at 7:51
  • Correct. It's the slight inconsistency of Cmd that stops you, as it always adds to the end of the current selection, whereas the others will remove if moving back towards your insertion point.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 30, 2016 at 7:54

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