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: Dictionary Shortcut Key.

Dictionary Shortcut Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2016)

Adam wonders if there is a shortcut key to open the dictionary or synonym box for a word directly after typing it. He is tired of using the mouse to display the tools (by right-clicking on a word).

Actually, there are several ways to use the keyboard to display this type of information. It boils down, mostly, to exactly what you want to do. These are the most common:

  • If you want to spell-check the word, just use the keyboard to select it and press F7. (If you press F7 without selecting the word first, you'll spell-check the entire document.)
  • If you want to display the thesaurus, then make sure the insertion point is within the word and press Shift+F7.

If you prefer, you can display the full Research task pane by pressing Ctrl+Shift+O. You can then use the controls in the task pane to access whatever tools or information you desire.

You can also simulate a right-click on a word. Make sure the insertion point is within the word, then press Shift+F10. This shortcut has the same effect as right-clicking, and you can then choose whatever you want from the resulting Context menu.

If you don't like the default shortcut keys that Word provides (as described in this tip), you can always use the customization capabilities of Word to change the shortcut key to whatever you prefer. How you customize the keyboard is covered in other issues of WordTips.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8551) 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: Dictionary 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adjusting Comment Printouts

Need to print out comments, but in a way that you control what is included in the printout? Here's a way you can extract ...

Discover More

Spell-Check Won't Work

Having problems making spell check work on a portion of your document? There are two primary causes for such an ...

Discover More

Changing Spacing Between Table Cells

Need to adjust the space between individual cells in a table? Word gives you a good deal of control over this spacing, as ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Separating Grammar-Checking from Spell-Checking

Most of the time Word will check both grammar and spelling at the same time. You can, however, instruct the program to ...

Discover More

Correctly Repeated Words

There are times when you need to repeat a word in a document, but doing so triggers an "error reaction" from Word's ...

Discover More

Replacing Two Tabs with a Space in Limited Situations

The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful, allowing you to finely target exactly what you want to search. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.