Keyboard shortcuts save computer users much time and effort, but who determines which commands are worthy of having a shortcut? In Word 2007, you do! You can create a keyboard shortcut for nearly any task in Word, from saving documents in a certain format, to quickly highlighting selected text—the options are endless. All it takes is a couple minutes worth of customization.
1. Click the Office Button and select Word Options at the bottom right of the menu.
2. Click Customize on the left menu. On the menu that appears on the right, click Customize next to the words “keyboard shortcuts.”
3. The menu that then appears lists all of the commands Word 2007 allows through its various toolbar menus. They are grouped into categories according to what they do, but if you scroll to the bottom of the list on the left, there is an option to view all commands.
Choose any command from the right menu and the box on the bottom left of the menu labeled “Current keys” displays the current shortcut assigned to that command. Most commands in the list do not have keyboard shortcuts assigned, but there are many that do.
For instance, if you choose the “underline” command from the box on the right, the “current keys” box below will list the common “CTRL+U” shortcut, which is second nature to most long term Word users.
The box beside this one, though, is the box that is most import to setting custom shortcuts. It is labeled “Press New Shortcut Key.” We can change or add any keyboard shortcut we want by simply choosing a command from the list, selecting this box and pressing the buttons we’d like assigned to the chosen command.
For example, one of the most common marks an editor uses is a strikethrough (abc). In Word 2007, the option to strikethrough requires selecting text, then clicking a button at the top of the Home tab. By using a custom shortcut, we can eliminate the mouse totally from the equation. To assign a shortcut to the strikethrough we would simply:
4. Choose Strikethrough from the commands list on the left of the menu. You should see that there is no shortcut currently assigned to this command, as the “Current Keys” box will be blank.
5. Click the Press New Shortcut Key box.
6. Type any key or key combination you would like to represent the strikethrough command. We use ALT+S, so while the cursor is on the Press New Shortcut Key box, we hold the ALT key while hitting the S key.
Word will tell you if your new shortcut is in conflict with any current shortcuts. A message will appear under the “current keys” box on the right that says, “currently assigned to <command>.”
If this happens, you can simply choose another shortcut by clicking on the Press New Shortcut Key box.
7. Once you have chosen the shortcut you want, all that is left is to click Assign at the bottom left of the screen.
From now on, when you hit the combination of keys you chose, your command will magically happen!