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: Erratic Behavior of Ctrl+PgDn.

Erratic Behavior of Ctrl+PgDn

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 13, 2012)

Want to see something interesting? Try these steps:

  1. Start Word from scratch.
  2. Load a document that has multiple pages in it, preferably three or more.
  3. Press Ctrl+PgDn. Word should jump to the top of each page in the document.
  4. Press Ctrl+Home to go to the top of the document.
  5. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  7. In the Find What box, enter a word that you know there are several of in your document. (Usually a word such as "the" works great.)
  8. Click on Find Next. Word should find the next occurrence of the word you entered in step 6.
  9. Press Esc to get rid of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  10. Press Ctrl+Home to go to the top of the document.
  11. Press Ctrl+PgDn. Word should jump to the next occurrence of the word you entered in step 6.

Did you notice how the same shortcut key (Ctrl+PgDn) worked differently in steps 3 and 10? This may seem odd to you, but there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. (Remember—this is a feature of Word, not a quirk or a bug. :>))

One of the features of Word that is often overlooked is called the Object Browser. When you first start a session with Word, the default browsing mode is to browse by page. But Word's Object Browser works with a variety of objects, not just the tops of pages. You can see which objects are available for browsing by clicking on the Object Browser tool, which is the small "dot" near the bottom of the vertical scroll bar, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Home. (See Figure 2.) In the resulting palette of objects you can pick from twelve different options. Once you do, the Previous and Next buttons (which surround the Object Browser tool near the bottom of the vertical scrollbar) and the Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn shortcut keys now browse for those objects.

Figure 2. The Browser controls in Word.

One of the objects for which you can use the Object Browser is Find. When you choose Find from the Object Browser palette, Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box, just as if you had pressed Ctrl+F. Doing a find operation in this manner resets the Object Browser so that Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn now find previous and next occurrences of whatever you searched for.

As an interesting aside, pay particular attention to the color of the Previous and Next buttons that surround the Object Browser tool. If the buttons are black, then the Object Browser is set to Page, which means that Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn will jump to the tops of pages. If the buttons are blue, then the Object Browser is set to some other type of object, and the two shortcut keys will only find whatever object has been selected. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Browser controls change color.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3513) 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: Erratic Behavior of Ctrl+PgDn.

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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