Before upgrading to Big Sur I was able to use Shift-Command-Left/Right arrow to highlight a single word while typing. This was in any app - email, browser, text, etc.

After upgrading to Big Sur, that command now changes the color profile.

For what it's worth, Shit-Left/Right arrow will still highlight a single character. Shift-Command-Left/Right arrow will still highlight the start/end of the line of text. And Option-Left/Right arrow still moves the cursor one word at a time.

I'm just missing the option to highlight one word at a time.

I know how to add keyboard shortcuts but not sure the best way to change this back?

  • Can't think that would have been intentional by Apple; text editing is a pretty basic functionality. If you go into another account, does it have the same behaviour?
    – Neil
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


Testing in macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina, the shiftoptionleft/right arrow keyboard shortcut highlights one word at a time.

By default shiftcommandleft/right arrow highlights from the cursor to the end/beginning of the line.

  • Hmm. So something is changed on mine. Do you know where I could add that functionality back?
    – Todd
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 16:32
  • @Todd, The keyboard shortcuts mentioned in my answer are the default macOS built-in keyboard shortcuts for these actions and the only place macOS provides a UI to change keyboard shortcuts is in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. As far as I can tell there is no settings there to modify these particular built-in defaults. So I'm not sure how you could have modified these defaults unless your did something via command line or a third-party utility, which in either case I do not have any clues for you, sorry. Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 16:52

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