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So you don't like to reach over to the mouse for functions that can be performed on the keyboard? Makes sense; follow these tips to learn how to quickly do things from the keyboard and how to customize the keyboard shortcuts in Word to best fit your needs.
The following articles are available for the 'Shortcut Keys' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
A Fast Find-Next
Want a quick, easy way to "search again" for the next occurrence of what you need? Use the technique in this tip and you'll be finding what you need faster than ever.
Need to move a few paragraphs around in your document? Word provides a couple of handy shortcuts that make it very easy to move them in any direction you want.
Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles
Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any style you desire. This tip explains how.
Canceling a Menu
Want to back out of whatever you are doing in a menu? As with many tasks, Word provides several different ways you can stop what you are doing.
Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard
Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.
Changing Font Size Using a Shortcut Key
When you need to change the font size of a text selection, using the shortcut described in this tip is a great technique. However, what the shortcut does depends on what you have displayed on your screen.
Changing Text Case
Word provides a built-in shortcut to change the case of a text selection. Understanding how that shortcut works (and the other options available to you) can make some editing tasks easier.
Converting Field Results to Text
Fields are meant to be dynamic, providing a result based on conditions at the time they are updated. You may want to convert the dynamic results of a field to regular text. This can be done with a simple shortcut key, discussed in this tip.
Defining a Shortcut for a Macro
You can make running macros very easy if you assign a shortcut key to the macro. This tip demonstrates how easy it is to create these shortcut keys for running macros.
Tired of pressing the Delete or Backspace key for every character you want to delete? Here's a way you can make your editing much faster, with just a simple change to your deleting keypress.
Fields (sometimes called field codes) allow you to insert dynamic information in your documents. If you want to see the codes used in the fields instead of the results of those codes, use the shortcut in this tip.
Entering a Page Break from the Keyboard
Need to force Word to move text to the top of the next page? It's easy when you use the keyboard shortcut for a page break.
Finding Default Shortcut Keys
There are scores of shortcut keys defined in Word. If you want to discover what all those shortcut keys are, here are a few approaches you can use.
Format Painter Shortcut
Need a way to copy formatting using the keyboard? Word has a great one, and it doesn't involve the Format Painter or the Clipboard.
Getting Context-Sensitive Help
Word employs what is called a context-sensitive help system. This means that the program tries to direct you to the portion of the help system that is most likely to answer your question, based on what you are viewing or doing. There are several ways to invoke this type of help, as you learn here.
Inserting a Copyright Mark
One of the most common symbols that can be added to a document is the copyright mark. This tip examines several ways you can easily add this symbol to your writing.
Inserting Text with a Shortcut Key
The AutoText capabilities of Word are quite powerful, allowing you to insert all sorts of "boilerplate" information in your document. Expanding an AutoText entry is easy when you use the F3 key, but there are ways you can create special shortcut keys for individual AutoText entries.
Jumping between Columns
Need to jump from one column to another on a page? You can use the handy shortcut keys described in this tip.
Jumping Between Fields
Need to step through the fields in a document? It's easy using the shortcuts detailed in this tip.
Jumping to the Ends of Table Columns
Need a quick shortcut to jump to the top or bottom of a table column? Here are the two shortcuts you are searching for.
Jumping to the Ends of Table Rows
Need to jump from one end of a table row to another? Word provides a couple of handy shortcuts that can make this type of navigation a snap.
Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box
Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? This tip explains how you can use the keyboard to work with the Find and Replace dialog box, without the need to use the mouse at all.
Locking a Field
When you use fields in your document, you may want them to not change from a particular displayed result. You can lock individual fields so that they remain static from that point forward.
It is not uncommon for newcomers to Word to overwrite their existing document text as they are editing. There is a reason for that—and a fix. Here's the information you need.
Moving Table Rows Quickly
One of the most esoteric shortcuts available in Word is one that allows you to move table rows, either within a table or outside of a table. Here's a description of the shortcut and how it works.
Paragraph Formatting Shortcuts
Paragraphs are one of the elemental building blocks in a Word document. Formatting those paragraphs is easy to do if you commit just a few shortcuts to memory.
Picking Up Where You Left Off
Need a quick way to get back to a where you previously edited? Here's a shortcut that will serve you well.
Potential Shortcut Key Problems
When configuring Word so that it matches your preference in shortcut keys, you need to be careful about what shortcut keys you select. Here's an explanation of the problems you can run into if you aren't careful.
Printing a Key Assignment List
When you create custom shortcut keys in Word, you may (at some point) want to get a printout of what those key assignments are. Here's how you can get that list.
Printing Shortcut Key Assignments
Shortcut keys are great timesavers when you don't want to remove your hands from the keyboard to mess with the mouse. Word even lets you define your own shortcut keys to augment the rich selection provided by the program. You may, for reference purposes, want to print out a list of all the assignments. You can do so by using the steps outlined in this tip.
Printing Shortcut Key Assignments from a Macro
Need to know what shortcut keys are defined? You can use a single macro command line to print out the definitions.
Quickly Changing Document Windows
When working with multiple documents at the same time, you often have a need to move from one document to another. Here's some short, handy ways to navigate.
Quickly Decreasing Point Size
A shortcut for decreasing the point size of a font.
Quickly Increasing Point Size
Want to adjust the size of a text selection? Here's a quick shortcut to increase the size.
Quickly Removing Table Borders
Insert a table in your document and Word assumes that you want borders around the table and its cells. Here's a shortcut that allows you to easily remove those borders.
Removing a Macro from a Shortcut Key
Associate a macro with a shortcut key, and at some time you may want to break that association. (Perhaps so the shortcut key can be used for a different purpose.) Here's how to make sure that a macro is not associated with a given shortcut key.
Repeating Your Typing
Want a quick way to repeat a word or phrase you just typed? Here's the shortcut you need.
Resetting Default Character Formatting
If you need to remove any explicit character formatting from some text, you'll want to commit the shortcut in this tip to memory. It may end up being one of the more common shortcuts you use.
Resetting Paragraph Formatting
Tired of the formatting used in a paragraph? One way to "start over" is to make sure that the formatting is reset to its default conditions. Here's how to do the reset both manually and in a macro.
Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut
Word uses keyboard shortcuts for all sorts of tasks. Sometimes you may create a shortcut that messes up one of the other shortcuts you really need to keep. This tip explains how you can "undo" a shortcut key assignment so that everything gets back to normal.
Selecting Default Paragraph Formatting
Want to return a paragraph's formatting back to it's pristine, unaltered state? You can do so by using the shortcut described in this tip.
Shortcut for AutoCorrect Dialog Box
There is no built-in keyboard shortcut that will display the AutoCorrect dialog box. This doesn't mean that there aren't a variety of approaches you can use to create your own shortcuts—both keyboard and toolbar—for displaying the desired dialog box.
Shortcut for Full-Screen Mode
Want to get rid of almost everything on the screen except your document? Here's how to easily maximize what you see.
Shortcut for Show/Hide
Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? Here's a handy keyboard shortcut you can use to display (or not display) the non-printing characters in your document.
Shortcut to Return to Document Text
When you are done typing a footnote or endnote in your document, you may want a way to return to the main document text without the necessity of removing your hands from the keyboard. Word doesn't have a shortcut to do this, but another of Word's shortcuts may help you out.
Shortcuts for Basic Style Formatting
Want to get your text away from the explicit formatting you applied, back to the underlying formatting? Here are a couple of handy shortcuts you can use in that regard.
Stepping Through Head Formats
You can use the shortcuts described in this tip to quickly change the heading levels of the headings in your document. You'll easily get the exact heading level you need.
Strikethrough Shortcut Key
One common type of formatting is strikethrough, which is normally applied from the Font dialog box. There is no built-in keyboard shortcut for the format, but you can make your own following the advice in this tip.
Using Extend Mode
One of the most overlooked shortcut keys in Word has to be the extend key. Yet, learning how to use this simple key can save your hours in your editing efforts. Here's how to use extend mode to make your editing more productive.