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: Canceling a Command.

Canceling a Command

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 30, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you start to perform a command or action within Word, you may want to cancel it before it finishes. To do this, the general rule is to simply press the Esc key. This should cancel any command or action that Word is processing. It is also interesting to note that you can press Esc to close most every dialog box that may pop up in Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1458) 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: Canceling a Command.

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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