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: Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles.

Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 11, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


In other issues of WordTips you learn how to add styles to your document. Word also allows you to assign shortcut keys to styles. These shortcut keys can then be used to quickly apply styles to various paragraphs in your document.

The steps you use to define a shortcut key for a style depend on the version of Word you are using. To define a shortcut key, do this if you are using Word 97 or Word 2000:

  1. Select Style from the Format menu. Word displays the Style dialog box.
  2. Using the list of styles, select the name of the style whose shortcut key you want to change.
  3. Click on Modify. The Modify Style dialog box appears.
  4. Click on the Shortcut Key button. The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears.
  5. Press the key combination you want used to apply this style. Note that any current assignments for that key combination appear just below what you typed.
  6. When you are satisfied with your definition, click on Assign, then on Close.
  7. Click on OK to dismiss the Modify Style dialog box.
  8. To define shortcut keys for other styles, repeat steps 2 through 7.
  9. When you have finished changing styles, click on Close.

The steps you follow are a bit different if you are using a later version of Word:

  1. Select Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting task pane at the right side of the screen.
  2. In the list of styles, hover the mouse pointer over the name of the style whose shortcut key you want to change. A drop-down arrow should appear at the right of the style name.
  3. Click the down arrow and choose Modify. The Modify Style dialog box appears. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  5. Click on Format, then choose Shortcut Key from the resulting menu. The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  7. Press the key combination you want used to apply this style. Note that any current assignments for that key combination appear just below what you typed.
  8. When you are satisfied with your definition, click on Assign, then on Close.
  9. Click on OK to dismiss the Modify Style dialog box.
  10. To define shortcut keys for other styles, repeat steps 2 through 7.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (592) 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: Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles.

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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