Essential Microsoft Word shortcuts for more efficient writing


Here’s a list of Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts that I have been using for years and that I thought I would share with the other billion Word users out there who may not readily use them. Word is amazing powerful and if you become well-versed in using the shortcuts, you can really save yourself a lot of time having to move your hand to your mouse in order to right-click or highlight text.

Now I’m not going to go through the really easy shortcuts like copy and paste as I am assuming you have used Word many times before reading this post!

1. CTRL + S – You might say “Well that’s one of those stupid ones!”, but it’s actually not! I don’t know why people do not save their documents quickly and easily using this shortcut! It would have saved many people lots of crying or frustration! Don’t go to File and then click Save, it’s a waste of time!

2. CTRL + A – Will select all of the text in the document. This is very useful when you have to change the font type or size for the entire document. You can use this one in combination with the others, such as CTRL + D to bring up the Font Format menu.

3. CTRL + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW – This one is my favorite as it allows you to select the last word you typed. This is useful if you messed up the last word and want to quickly re-type it without having to press backspace. You can keep pressing the arrow to select more words to the left.

4. ALT + CTRL + F – Adds a footnote at the current position of the cursor. Very useful when writing papers and having to cite your sources. At the end of the line, type the shortcut and the superscript will be created and you’ll be moved down to the bottom section where you can write your source info.

5. F7 – Starts up the proofing engine, which checks your spelling and grammar. No need to keep right-clicking on each red line! Then engine will go through all of the mistakes in the current document.

6. CTRL + 1, 5, or 2 – Pressing CTRL and then one of these numbers will automatically space the paragraph to either single (1), 1.5 (5) or double-space (2). You can use this one in conjunction with CTRL + A to double-space your entire doc.

7. CTRL + =, CTRL + SHIFT + = – Quick and easy way to go into subscript and superscript mode, respectively. Otherwise, you have to go through the Font dialog box, etc and that’s a real pain!

8. SHIFT + F7 – You can’t live without that thesaurus these days! You can use this one with CTRL + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW to highlight the word you just wrote and then bring up the thesaurus on the selected word!

9. CTRL + K – Will either take your highlighted text and make it into a hyperlink or will allow you to create your own hyperlink from scratch.

10. ALT + CTRL + M – Adds an annotation to your current text position. Great if you’re adding comments or notes to a document, then you don’t have to use the toolbar.

11. CTRL + M – Indents the paragraph by half an inch. Good for quotes or hierarchal outlines.

12. CTRL + P, F2- Brings up the print dialog box. F2 will bring up the Print Preview.

13. CTRL + L, E, or R – Aligns the line of selected text to the left, center, or right of the screen.

14. F4 – Repeats the last action performed. Very very useful when you have to change the same thing in multiple locations. Do it once and then press F4.

15. Alt + F4 – Close the Word program. Will prompt if you have not saved the file.

So start using some of the shortcuts and you’ll find things work a lot faster! It takes some time to get used to, but it’s worth it. The best way is to disconnect your mouse and force yourself to use keyboard shortcuts.

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