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: Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut.

Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 6, 2017)

Word makes it easy to assign keyboard shortcuts to a variety of purposes. The two most common things assigned to shortcut keys are macros and built-in Word commands. It is possible, however, to assign a keyboard shortcut to an item and then later regret the assignment. For instance, you might assign a macro to the shortcut Ctrl+~ (the tilde symbol). However, this is a built-in shortcut for typing a letter with a tilde on top, most often used in foreign languages. Of course, if you later discover you need the built-in shortcut, you may wonder how to restore the keyboard shortcut to its intended purpose, rather than running the macro.

This is a relatively easy task to do. Basically you need to follow the same steps you followed in order to assign the macro to the shortcut, with one important change. Here's what to do:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Customize dialog box.

  3. Click the Keyboard button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  5. In the Categories list, choose Macros.
  6. In the Macros list, choose the macro you previously assigned to the Ctrl+~ shortcut. The shortcut should now show up in the Current Keys list.
  7. In the Current Keys list, click the Ctrl+~ shortcut.
  8. Click the Remove button.
  9. Click Close, then close the Customize dialog box as well.

The shortcut should now be removed from the macro and it (the shortcut) again resumes doing its previous duty.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (413) 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: Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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