Or how to save yourself hours by giving your mouse a rest!
Article contributed by Dave Rado
This list doesn't attempt to be comprehensive, but is a list of the shortcuts which save me the most time.
You can also get a complete list of keyboard shortcuts by selecting Tools + Macro + Macros, where it says “Macros in”, select “Word Commands”, select the command called “ListCommands” and press “Run”. Or you might find the following more useful: Word commands, and their descriptions, default shortcuts and menu assignments
|1.||If you look at the menus,
you will see many of Word's keyboard shortcuts displayed next to the
command – for instance, Ctrl+C next to Edit + Copy, Ctrl+V
next to Edit + Paste, Ctrl+F next to Edit + Find, etc. Learning
and using these shortcuts will save you many hours, allowing you to
spend more time with your family! (And many of them work in all
One menu shortcut which is not displayed but which I find very useful is Ctrl+F2 for Print Preview.
One which is displayed but which is so useful and so often missed that it's worth mentioning specifically is Ctrl+Z to Undo. Keep pressing Ctrl+Z to Undo as far back as you want – if you go too far, press Ctrl+Y to redo.
|2.||To access the menus with the keyboard press Alt plus the underlined letter on the main menu. Then type the underlined letter in the drop-down menu. E.g. type Alt+ V, P to go into Page Layout View, or Alt+ V, O to go into Outline View. If you have the mouse in your hand it's quicker to use the mouse (and then the toolbars come into their own), but when touch-typing, accessing the menus with the keyboard saves a lot of time.|
|3.||To apply or remove Bold, Italic or Underline press Ctrl+B, Ctrl+I, or Ctrl+U. Use Ctrl+L to left-justify text, Ctrl+E to centre it, Ctrl+J to justify it, and Ctrl+R to right-justify it.|
|4.||To return to your last edit
point, press Shift+F5.
For instance, if you have copied and want to return to where you were in
order to paste. Press Shift+F5 again to go to up to the last
three edit points, or a fourth time to return to where you started.
Also use this when you first open a document, to go straight back to where you were last editing it.
|5.||To change the case of any text,
select the text and press Shift+F3. Very useful, for instance, if
you have accidentally LEFT YOUR CAPS LOCK ON!
Keep pressing Shift+F3 to toggle between ALL CAPS (or “UPPERCASE”), no caps (or “lowercase”), and First Letter In Caps (which Word misleadingly refers to as “Title Case” – a true example of Title Case would be “First Letter in Caps”, but to achieve this level of intelligence you need a macro).
You get more options if you use the Format + Change Case dialog,
|6.||You can repeat most commands
and actions by pressing F4. This is much more useful
than you might think.
For example, apply borders to a table. Go to your next table, select it, and press F4 to apply the same borders. (Or do the same with rows within a table).
Convert a picture from Floating to Inline, then use F4 to do the same with all other pictures.
Apply a Style somewhere, then use F4 to apply the same Style to all other paragraphs in the document which need that Style applied.
Select one table row, right-click, Insert Rows. Select the new row and F4. Select the two new rows and F4. Select the four new rows and F4 – and so on.
In Word 97, you can use F4 in combination with the Table + Cell Height and Width dialog to make each column in one table exactly the same width as the equivalent column in another table – a trick I use constantly. In Word 2000 and higher, the Table Properties dialog doesn't support F4, a serious retrograde step; but fortunately you can fix this. See: How to sidestep the problems of the Word 2000 (and higher) Table Properties dialog for details.
Before you start, make sure you can see both tables (split the window if necessary). Then select a cell in one table, select Table + Cell Height and Width, choose the “Column” Tab and press OK; select a column in the other table and press F4. The width you “captured” from the first table will now be applied to the other one. (You can even use this trick if the two tables are in separate documents.)
You can use the same principle to left or centre-align multiple tables, apply table indents, etc. Apply the formatting you want to one table, using the Cell Height and Width dialog (or if it is already applied, simply display the dialog and press OK), and just click in the other tables you want to apply the formatting to and press F4.
I also use F4 for applying bold to the first couple of words
in each item in a bulleted list (easier on the fingers than Ctrl+B);
for merging cells in several different rows; for making the Page Setup
identical in two different sections of a document (see
Working with sections), or in two different documents – the list of
time-saving uses for it goes on and on!
|7.||You can repeat the last Find
or Goto by pressing Shift+F4.
|8.||You can cycle through all open
Word documents by pressing Ctrl+F6 (or you can cycle
backwards by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F6.
In Word 2000 you can also use Alt+Tab, which cycles through all open applications. Word 2000 uses SDI (Single Document Interface) which makes each Word document behave as if it were a separate instance of Word, although it isn't.
|9.||This one is more esoteric, but very useful if you
customise commands a lot, and several people have emailed me with this
If you have a numeric keypad, press Alt+Ctrl+Num+ (hold
down Alt and Ctrl and press the + key on the
numeric keyboard). If you don't have a numeric keypad,
assign a shortcut key of your own to the Word command
ToolsCustomizeKeyboardShortcut. Either way, when you press the
shortcut, the mouse cursor will change into a 4-headed squiggle:
Now if you press another shortcut key combination, the “Customize Keyboard” dialog will display and show you which command or macro is currently assigned to that shortcut. (for instance, if you press Ctrl+F4 while the squiggly cursor is visible, the dialog will display the DocClose command).
Alternatively, if you invoke the squiggly cursor and then select any menu item, the “Customize Keyboard” dialog will display and show you which command or macro that menu button is assigned to. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for toolbar buttons, but you can temporarily Ctrl+Drag a toolbar button onto a menu (select Tools + Customize first), and then use the squiggly cursor to find out what command or macro the button is assigned to.
And unfortunately, it works less reliably with custom menu buttons than it does with built-in ones – according to squiggly cursor, several custom buttons that I've assigned to macros are actually assigned to the ToolsMacro command!!! That's a bug.
|1.||To remove manual formatting:
Press Ctrl+Spacebar to remove character formatting. Press
Ctrl+Q to remove paragraph formatting. These shortcuts return the
formatting to the default for the Style in use. To return the selection
to the “Normal”
style, press Ctrl+Shift+N.
If you've been emailed a document by another company and need to get it into your “Corporate style”, and if it contains a lot of manual formatting (as they usually do), print it, and then press Ctrl+A (Select All), Ctrl+Spacebar and Ctrl+Q. If the document uses styles, but the styles are in a mess (as they will be if the author had the default “Autoformat as you Type” settings on), press Ctrl+Shift+N as well. Then apply styles. Doing this can save you hours per document, literally.
|2.||Avoid formatting text manually
as much as possible – use
But where you need to format manually, you can use Ctrl+Shift+C to copy formatting and Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it. Having copied formatting, you can use Ctrl+Shift+V as often as you like – even across multiple documents – without having to copy again until you close Word.
If a paragraph marker is selected when you copy, this will copy and paste the paragraph formatting; otherwise it will just copy and paste the character formatting.
You can also use Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V to copy & paste such things as drawing object lines and fills – in both Word and PowerPoint.
the Toolbar does more or less the same thing, (although it's much harder
to use, and you have to double-click on it if you want to apply
the same formatting multiple times); and in Excel and Visio, where
unfortunately Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V don't work, the Paintbrush
can be a huge time-saver for things like reapplying cell properties and
Headings, hold the Alt+Shift keys down, and while
keeping them held down, press the Left or Right arrow on
the keyboard – Left arrow to create a main Heading, or promote an
existing one, Right arrow to create a subheading or demote an existing
one. No need to select anything first, just click in the paragraph which
you want to apply the formatting to.
This one is very useful in any View but especially in Outline View, as it allows you to promote and demote a large number of Headings at once.
Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Alt+1 to create a Heading 1, Ctrl+Alt+2 to create a Heading 2, etc. But unfortunately, in Europe, Ctrl+Alt+4 has been hijacked for the Euro symbol.
Personally I much prefer the Alt+Shift method anyway; easier on the fingers, only one shortcut to remember; and you don't need to think about which Heading Level you want to apply, you only have to think about whether you want the heading to be the same level as the previous one (Left arrow), a higher level (Left arrow twice) or a sub-heading of it (right-arrow). When going through a long document applying headings, this shortcut saves me hours!
Alt+Shift+Left or Right arrow can also be used to promote and demote outline numbered or bulleted lists – not just Headings.
If the Headings don't look the way you want them to, don't format them manually! Redefine the Styles instead (Format + Style + Modify).
Incidentally, some people also like using Alt+Shift+Up and Down arrows to change the order of their Headings in Outline View, so give that a try. Personally, I prefer using drag and drop.
|4.||Never! use manual
page breaks – they're a maintenance nightmare. Instead, on the Format +
Paragraph + “Line and
Page Breaks” tab:
“Widow/Orphan control” prevents one line of a paragraph being “orphaned” at the top or bottom of a page – but this is built in to your style definitions by default anyway.
And a last point while on the subject of styles, make sure that under Format
+ Style + Modify, the “Automatically
Screw Up Update”
setting is turned off. Unfortunately, it is turned on by default for the List
Bullet and TOC styles. Turn them off!
|1.||To move around a document:
|2.||To select text:
|3.||To move and select within a
|4.||To move paragraphs of text
without resorting to cut and paste, you can use drag and
drop. If you are moving paragraphs to a position that is off-screen,
split the window first (Window + Split).
Alternatively, if you are in Page/Print View or Normal View, and your cursor is not in a table, you can move the current paragraph(s) up or down the document using the Alt+Shift+Up and Down arrows. Whereas in Outline View, this moves Headings and all their subsidiary text, in Page/Print View or Normal View it just moves the current paragraphs (but in a table it moves the current rows instead).
|5.||To edit text while you're in
Print Preview, click on the page to zoom in, then click on
the Magnifier button
on the Print Preview toolbar to switch into edit mode.
Click on the Magnifier again when you want to quit edit mode and zoom
Word of warning: Be careful not to type unless you are in Edit mode! Word lets you do this, and because there's no visible insertion point, you will have no idea where the text you type is going to be inserted! This is a bug
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