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 Function Key.

Resetting a Function Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 21, 2015)

Peter noted that up to some months ago, while working on a Word document, he could select some text and, by pressing Shift+F3, change the case of the selected text. Now when Peter presses this function key it makes Excel launch. He wonders how he can reset the Shift+F3 function key so it works like it should work.

The first thing to check here is at what "level" the function key is operating. Function keys can have various purposes within Windows itself and within Word. If there is a conflict between the purpose of a particular function key in Windows and the purpose of that function key in Word, then the purpose in Windows takes precedence.

The easiest way to figure out the level at which the function key is operating is to just get out of Word (close the program completely) and then try the function key. If Shift+F3 still opens Excel while Word is closed, then the function key has been programmed within Windows to start Excel. This programming overrides anything that the function key may do within Word. Uses these steps to correct the situation:

  1. Within Windows, click the Start button and "drill down" until you find the Excel program. (You need to find it in the Start menu hierarchy, not within the Windows Explorer.)
  2. Right-click the Excel program and choose Properties from the resulting Context menu. Windows displays the Shortcut tab of the Properties dialog box for the Excel program.
  3. Delete anything that may appear in the Shortcut Key box.
  4. Click on Apply, then click OK.

That should do it; you should be able to jump into Word and the function key should work as you expect. If it doesn't, then you should check to see if Shift+F3 has been customized within Word. Follow these steps:

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

  4. In the Categories list, choose All Commands.
  5. In the Commands list, choose the ChangeCase command. You should see, in the dialog box, the shortcut keys that have been assigned to the command.
  6. If Shift+F3 is not listed in the Current Keys box, click once in the Press New Shortcut Key box and press Shift+F3.
  7. Close both of the open dialog boxes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9473) 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 Function 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

Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages

Fields are used for all sorts of purposes in Word, but typically to provide some sort of dynamic information. This tip ...

Discover More

Converting Quark Documents to Word

A popular desktop publishing program is QuarkXPress. If you have a document in the program, you may want a way to get ...

Discover More

Using Fields for Fractions

Want a quick way to create fractions? You can do it by using fields, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Can't Split the Document View

Word allows you to split the screen so that you can view two different parts of the same document. This can come in very ...

Discover More

Viewing Multiple Pages

If you have a large monitor, you can view more than one page at a time in Word. This is very handy when you want to ...

Discover More

Direction Arrows Confused

What do you do if you open a document, only to find that the arrow keys don't work the way that they should? The first ...

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 five more than 7?

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.