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Ctrl, and Shift copying


Hello all, and season’s greetings!

I was a great fan of Page Four, and I have grown to love Atomic. Thank you, Darren for two excellent products.

This is my first posting. I hope I am not raising an issue that has already been resolved, but I had a good look around first. What I seem unable to do in Atomic, which I used to do in P4, is to be able to click to the left of a line of text to highlight it, then scroll down a line or two, click again whilst holding down shift, and select a block of text for removal or formatting. Same goes for holding down Ctrl for selecting lines separately. I really miss this feature.

I have run Atomic and P4 on Windows 7 and on Windows 10. The same issue remains.
Am I missing something?
Thanks in advance


Hi yen,

The text marking you describe [Shift and marking multiple lines by scrolling down] works just fine in Win10. Same goes for either using Ctrl and /or formatting or deleting the highlighted part.

I can’t speak for Win7 anymore as this OS is more or less obsolete due to lacking support from MS. Yet, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work there the same way, as this is - and always was - basic behavior of a Win OS. It’s nothing specific for former P4 or current AS. Those features can be used with any writing tool running on Win OS. Features work even in Notepad (sheer txt files) or Write (with rtf file).

All I can think of that your keyboard may have an issues with a few outworn keys, but then the Shift key wouldn’t work with upper caps either. Maybe something with your arrow keys? Check your keyboard or your keyboard driver. Maybe that’s where the issues is. Check the issues using ‘Write.exe’ (WordPad) to isolate the malfunction. It’s not the apps, that’s for sure.



Hans is correct about this. Atomic Scribbler works in the same way as most other word processors when it comes to selecting text. It actually works a little better than PageFour as PageFour had a few bugs in this area.

A single click to the left of a line will select that line only.

A double click to the left will select the current paragraph.

A triple click selects the entire document.

After you have selected any text, pressing Shift and then selecting anywhere in the document will enlarge the selection to reach the point you clicked.


Thank you both for your prompt reply.

You are of course right, Hans, what I am trying to use are basic Windows commands. I sit here now with both operating systems open, and those commands work fine in Wordpad. I also have Atomic open in Windows 10. When I try to use the same basic commands in a project document, holding down Shift while clicking a line or two below a selected line merely move down the selected line. It does not highlight my intended selection.
Similarly, if I do as Darren suggests: double-clicking to the side to highlight a paragraph (which does occur), when I then hold down Shift to enlarge or reduce the selected area, I am left only with the one line highlighted at the point where I clicked, as if I had single-clicked that line.

Sorry if I seem reluctant to accept what you are telling me. I know that what you say should happen, it just isn’t happening. It has never worked with every version of Atomic, and I have been through them all since its inception. I have already performed those checks Hans has suggested. There is nothing wrong with my keyboard keys.



Hi yen,

Well I don’t know what to tell you. All I can say is that AS works as intended, including the functions you describe as missing.

As the issues do not show up when working with with WordPad, your keyboard and its driver cannot be the issue.

The only idea that comes to my mind is that something happened during the installation of AS, although that seems very unlikely as you say you have had this issue with former AS versions as well. A brutal way would be to ‘nuke’ AS. Meaning, uninstall the program, clean the registry, and reinstall AS again.

Make sure you backup your projects before you uninstall AS. I wouldn’t have to do this but it depends on where you store your data. In my case, all projects and data are on a different hard disk (drive D:), and therefore not effected when uninstalling AS, but still regularly backed up anyway. However, that’s just me. :slight_smile:



I see the issue now. Apologies — I was misunderstanding what you were describing.

There is a difference in behaviour between Atomic Scribbler and other word processors in this area. You can’t additionally select a line of text after the first line by using the shift key and left clicking in the margin. Doing so will deselect the first line and select the new line.

This feature isn’t part of the word processor used in Atomic. You can select a block of text after the first line using the shift key, but only if you then click inside the text — not in the margin.



What always works is just clicking the first line and then scrolling down by using the arrow key in order to highlight as many lines as one want [while holding the Shift key of course].

The left or right arrow keys can be used at the last line to highlight exactly as much of the line as one want. Of course, it all can be done highlighting text by dragging the mouse pointer along the text. Wouldn’t these two options be the simplest way to highlight any text?


Hans, Why did you not just offer this advice at the beginning? I am so pleased I didn’t follow your earlier advice, which I am sure was well-meant and made good sense to you when you gave it. Sorry, Hans, your knowledge of computers is far beyond my grasp. But I must wonder, would you have had me ‘nuke’ AS on both computers had Darren not found an explanation for the issue? At least we now know it is not my computer - that’s for sure. I am well aware that one can highlight by dragging the mouse pointer, but this is not so practical if the selection is larger than the visible area of text. Trying to find the exact point at which one wishes to terminate the selection becomes increasingly difficult as the page(s) scroll by.

Darren, thank you very much. This issue has plagued me for so long. I feel sure I am not alone with this. The nature of writing (well, mine, at least!) involves the selection, cutting and pasting of areas of text that are not restricted to full paragraphs or single lines. However, I can live with a different way of doing this, now that it has been explained to me so succinctly.
I am truly grateful for all the hard work you have put into the invention and development of both P4 and AS. My writing world has been a better place since I started using them. You have brought order to chaos!

Thank you (all), very much, for your help.

And very best wishes to you.