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: Resetting a Single Shortcut Key.

Resetting a Single Shortcut Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2022)

If you have defined custom shortcut keys in Word, you may at some point want to get rid of one of your previously defined shortcuts. Word makes it easy to remove all of your custom shortcuts (as described in other WordTips), but you may want to only reset the purpose of a single shortcut key. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click on the Keyboard button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  4. Position the insertion point in the Press New Shortcut Key text box.
  5. Press the shortcut key you want to reset. For instance, if you want to reset Ctrl+B, then press Ctrl+B. Just below the Press New Shortcut Key text box you should see the name of the active Word function that is currently using this shortcut. (If you don't see anything there, then it is not currently in use.) Make note of the function.
  6. Using the Categories and Commands lists, locate the function you noted in step 4. You will know you have the right function when the shortcut key you want to reset shows up in the Current Keys list.
  7. Within the Current Keys list, select the shortcut key you want to reset.
  8. Click on the Remove button. Word removes shortcut key definition.
  9. Click on OK to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  10. Click on OK to dismiss the Customize dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (659) 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: Resetting a Single Shortcut Key.

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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