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Finding Default Shortcut Keys

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Finding Default Shortcut Keys.

If your shortcut keys aren't working the way you think they should be, you may want a way to see what shortcut key assignments have been made. There are two things you can try.

First of all, you can get a printout of current key assignments, by template, by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+P to display the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  3. Using the Print What drop-down list, choose Key Assignments.
  4. Click OK.

Word prints a short list of shortcut keys for your document. It lists any templates attached to the document, along with shortcut keys for those templates.

If you want a more comprehensive list—one that includes all the defaults set up by Word—then you need to take a different approach:

  1. Press Alt+F8. Word displays the Macros dialog box.
  2. Using the Macros In drop-down list, choose Word Commands.
  3. In the list of commands at the top of the dialog box, choose ListCommands.
  4. Click Run. You'll see the List Commands dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The List Commands dialog box.

  6. Select which type of listing you want, then click OK.

Depending on which option you choose in step 5, the listing you create could be very long. (A listing of all commands could run almost twenty pages.) Either way, the resulting document includes all the shortcut key assignments for Word.

You might also want to do one other thing before creating your shortcut list using the ListCommands command—start Word with no add-ins loaded. The reason is because the add-ins may affect the shortcuts available in Word. To do this, simply use the following at the command prompt to start Word:

winword.exe /a

You can then do the five steps necessary to create the default list of shortcut keys.

If the reason that you want to know the shortcut keys is because you are having problems getting your shortcut keys to behave, then simply finding out what they are won't necessarily solve the problem. It could be that there is a conflict on a shortcut key, such that the same shortcut key is used for two or more purposes. When there is a conflict, Word looks to a set of rules to determine which command to use with the shortcut. Essentially, Word follows this priority for shortcuts:

  1. Shortcuts defined in the document itself
  2. Shortcuts defined in the template attached to the document
  3. Shortcuts defined in the Normal template
  4. Shortcuts defined in additional global templates, in alphabetical order
  5. Shortcuts defined in add-ins, in alphabetical order
  6. Default shortcuts defined in Word

Based on the above, if you always want a shortcut such as Ctrl+Shift+F to open a particular folder from within Word, you need to assign it to a macro that resides in either the Normal template or a global template and not assign this shortcut in any document or attached template.

You must remember, too, that global shortcut keys assigned by the operating system (Windows) take precedence over anything assigned by an application (including Word). For example, if you have a shortcut on your desktop or anywhere in your Start menu to open your Documents folder using Ctrl+Shift+F, that shortcut will take precedence over the same combination that you attempt to use in Word. So if you really want to open a folder using Ctrl+Shift+F, create a shortcut to that folder on your desktop or in the Start menu. Then right-click the shortcut, choose Properties, and you will see a box where you can assign the shortcut key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (192) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Finding Default Shortcut Keys.

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Comments for this tip:

Phil Rabichow    11 Feb 2015, 13:03
I got a different result. See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa537165%28office.11%29.aspx#OfficeWord2003Customizing_Conflicts

However, Microsoft has conflicting articles. The hierarchy that I've tested & found is:
1. The active document. Customizations stored in the active document take precedence over any other customizations that are present.
2. The template attached to the active document. Customizations stored in the template attached to the active document take precedence over customizations stored in add-in files or in the default global template (Normal.dot).
3. Add-in files, in order of loading. The most recently loaded add-in file takes precedence over add-in files loaded earlier. Note: Because you can load add-in files automatically from the Word Startup folder, or from the Microsoft Office Startup folder, and manually from any location at any time, there is no way to determine that your file will load before or after any other particular add-in file. [However, those in the Word Startup folder will load in reverse alphabetical order among themseleves.]
4. The default global template (Normal.dot). Customizations stored in the default global template are loaded first, which means that customizations stored in all other locations can overwrite them.

When I have a chance, I think I'll test this all again. Note: I have Word 2003, which is becoming rare, so this may be moot.
 
 

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