Sumatra PDF is a PDF, ePub, MOBI, CHM, XPS, DjVu, CBZ, CBR reader for Windows

Selecting text with the keyboard

Hi guys.
It will be great if it’s possible to select the text just using the keyboard.
e.g. pressing shift+Arrows.
Are there any chances to have this update in the future ?

You are asking for “mouse keys” which is possible in most versions of windows, However for most mouse capable users it is so unnatural I don’t use it (except to remind myself why not)


No, he’s not asking for mouse keys that enable mouse cursor control using the keyboard. What he’s asking for is simply the ability to select text using the keyboard.

Firefox for example allows this. If you want, you can make the text cursor visible on web pages using Options > General > Browsing > Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages. However, even without turning the cursor on you can simply click somewhere on a web page, for example at the beginning of a sentence, and then use Shift+arrow keys/PgUp/PgDn etc. to select text.

My suggestion for mouse keys is historically based on past experience when selecting text pre wimp (Windows/Icon/Mouse Pointer) the selection of text was by only using the arrow keys after pressing insert at the start point it was slow then but it still works even in SumatraPDF, however its now counter intuitive to me.

I usually use this feature (shift + Arrow) to read.
It helps me a lots.
But maybe I’m just the only one in the earth that do so :joy:

@Fifoland its not an unreasonable request
however shift arrows are already in use so an alternative method would be needed such as insert plus arrows which is what mouse keys does when enabled

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Yes, it can work, thanks a lot.
Btw, I don’t find any funtionality for shift + arrow

There are a few key combinations undocumented and some are simply just duplicates by default the MetaKeys CTRL SHIFT arrows are used to change from one document to another.
It would probably need some extensive reprogramming to untangle those that users would like to change to suit their use in browsers, however I personally do sometimes use AutoHotKey to drive icons for some cases.

Absolutely. Turning on Mouse Keys and using the keyboard to control the mouse to laboriously select text, instead of simply using the keyboard itself to select text, honestly sounds ridiculous. It’s like trying to touch your nose by reaching around the back of your head instead of the simpler obvious way! :rofl:

As mentioned above, Firefox has a great implementation of this feature in case kjk ever needs a reference.

It’s quite possible (for the dev) to reassign the Shift+arrow keys to select text, since they’re independent of what Ctrl+Shift+L/R arrow do.

I agree it may well be possible to allocate shift arrows to selections,

however at present ctrl up down and shift up down have identical effect as accelerators to the standard up down (i.e. part of my comment about duplication)

The differences probably need documenting for different modes

Shift right/left when zoomed in is SHIFT view window right or left
a different function to move (pan) right / left
or CTRL a whole page right / left
so those differences would need to be addressed before re-allocating

All that is very much possible, but of course it’s all a theoretical discussion unless someone actually decides to implement this! :slight_smile: