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Every Microsoft Word keyboard shortcut that you need to know

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  • 8 min read

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular text editor applications across the globe. From creating official documents, reports, letters, or résumés, you can do it all, which is why it is used by students and professionals alike. Hence if you’re someone who wants to increase your productivity and convenience, you could benefit from using a few nifty keyboard shortcuts.

Now you might know some of these shortcuts, and you may be new to some others. Whatever the case may be, we’ve rounded up some of the most used keyboard shortcuts that could help you speed up your work.

We’ve organised the shortcuts according to their purpose and what’s even better is that these can be used for almost any version of Word.

This is an extensive list of Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts If you’re looking for a specific keyboard shortcut, consider looking for it via the Ctrl+F browser shortcut to find in a page. If you’re using a mobile browser, click on the ‘triple-dot’ menu and tap on Find in Page.

Tip: Use Command key instead of Ctrl on Mac.

Also read: What are modifier keys and why do you have two of them?

General Purpose

These shortcuts are for most general functions within Word, like creating a new document, or opening up a print preview of your document. They can save you the trouble of opening up nested menus to do that same task

  • Ctrl+N: To create a new document
  • Ctrl+O: To open an existing document
  • Ctrl+S: To save a document
  • F12: Open the Save As dialogue box
  • Ctrl+W: To close a document
  • Ctrl+Z: To undo the last action
  • Ctrl+Y: To redo an action
  • Alt+Ctrl+S:  Can be used to split a window or remove the split view entirely
  • Ctrl+Alt+V: To view the document in Print Layout form
  • Ctrl+Alt+O: To view the document in Outline View mode
  • Ctrl+Alt+N: To view the document in Draft View (similar to Print Layout, but a better pared-down version)
  • Ctrl+F2: To open the Print View mode
  • F1: To open the Help Pane
  • Alt+Q: To open the “tell me what you want to do” dialogue box
  • F9:  To refresh the field codes(placeholders), in the selected text
  • Ctrl+F: To search for a word or phrase within the document
  • F7: To run a spelling or grammar check
  • Shift+F7: To open the thesaurus. If you’ve selected a specific word within the text, then this command automatically opens the thesaurus and searches for that word.

Moving Around a Document

If you’ve got a long document to edit, then using your cursor to move up and down the article can be quite tedious. Using keyboard shortcuts to move around from paragraph to paragraph, can save you effort, time and patience!

  • Left/Right Arrow: Used to move the cursor either one character to the left or one word to the right
  • Ctrl+Left/Right Arrow: Used to move either one word to the left or one word to the right
  • Up/Down Arrow: Used to move either up or down by a single line
  • Ctrl+Up/Down Arrow:  Used to move the insertion symbol up or down by a single a paragraph
  • End: Used to move the insertion symbol to the end of the current line
  • Ctrl+End: Used to move the insertion symbol to the end of the document
  • Home: Used to move the insertion symbol to the beginning of the line.
  • Ctrl+Home: Used to move the insertion symbol to the beginning of the document
  • Page Up/Page Down: Moves up pr down by one page
  • Ctrl+Page Up/Page Down: Used to move to the previous or next to browse object; can be used after performing a search
  • Alt+Ctrl+Page Up/Page Down: Used to scroll to the top or bottom of the current window
  • F5: It opens the Find dialogue box with the Go To tab selected, and so enables you to move instantly to a specific page, section, bookmark, and so on.
  • Shift+F5: Used to cycle through the last three locations where the cursor was placed. If you’ve just opened a document, Shift+F5 moves you to the previous point where your final edit was made before closing the document.

Also read: VLC Keyboard shortcuts: A comprehensive list

Selecting Text

If you’ve got a keen eye, you’d have noticed that Ctrl key was used for a lot of the above shortcuts for moving around the text. You can select text in different ways, using the same combinations but using the Shift key instead.

  • Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Used to extend your current selection by one character, either to the left or the right
  • Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Used to extend your current selection by one word either to the left or the right
  • Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Used to extend the current selection by up or down one line
  • Ctrl+Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Used to extend the selection to the beginning or end of the paragraph
  • Shift+End: Used to extend the selection to the end of the line
  • Shift+Home: Used to extend the selection to the beginning of the line
  • Ctrl+Shift+Home/End: Used to extend the selection to the beginning or end of the document
  • Shift+Page Down/Page Up: Used to extend the selection down or up by one screen
  • Ctrl+A: Used to select the entire document
  • F8: Used to enter into selection mode after, you can use the arrow keys to extend your selection further. Pressing F8 five times extends your selection outward. Pressing once enters selection mode, after which the second press selects the word next to the insertion point, the third press selects the whole sentence, the fourth press all the characters in the paragraph, and the fifth the entire document. Pressing Shift+F8 does the same function but in the reverse order and pressing the Esc key exits the selection mode.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F8: Used to select a column. After the column is selected, using the left and right arrow keys extends the selection to more columns.

Editing Text

These keyboard shortcuts are pretty familiar to most frequent Word users and make editing text a breeze

  • Backspace: Used to delete one character to the left
  • Ctrl+Backspace: Used to remove one word to the left
  • Delete: Used to remove one character to the right
  • Ctrl+Delete: Used to delete one word to the right
  • Ctrl+C: Copies all the selected characters to the clipboard
  • Ctrl+X: Used to cut selected text or graphics to the clipboard
  • Ctrl+V: Used to paste the Clipboard contents
  • Ctrl+F3: Used to cut the selected text to the Spike which is an alternate variant of the normal clipboard. The difference between the two is that when you cut text to the Spike, Word will paste items in individual lines.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F3: Used to paste the Spike contents 
  • Alt+Shift+R: This command is used to copy the header or footer used in the previous section of the document. 

Also read: 65 Photoshop keyboard shortcuts to make your workflow quicker

Character Formatting

These are commands that can be used to format your either selected text, or unselected text as required by the user.

  • Ctrl+B: Used to apply bold formatting
  • Ctrl+I: Used to apply italic formatting
  • Ctrl+U: Used to apply underline formatting
  • Ctrl+Shift+W: Used to apply underline formatting to words, and excludes the spaces.
  • Ctrl+Shift+D: Used to apply double underline formatting
  • Ctrl+D: Used to open the Font dialogue box
  • Ctrl+Shift+< or >: Used to decrease or increase font by one preset size
  • Ctrl+[ or ]: Used to decrease or increase font size by one point
  • Ctrl+=: Used to apply subscript formatting
  • Ctrl+Shift+Plus key: Used to apply superscript formatting
  • Shift+F3: This is used to cycle through the case formats for your text and which include sentence case, lowercase, uppercase, title case, and toggle case.
  • Ctrl+Shift+A: Used to format all letters as uppercase
  • Ctrl+Shift+K: Used to format all letters as lowercase
  • Ctrl+Shift+C: Used to copy the character formatting of a selection
  • Ctrl+Shift+V: Used to paste formatting on to the selected text
  • Ctrl+Space: Used to remove all manual character formatting from a selection

Paragraph Formatting

These are some lesser-known shortcuts for formatting paragraphs, and if you play around with them, you’ll make light work of your paragraphs in no time.

  • Ctrl+M: Used to increase a paragraph’s indent by one level 
  • Ctrl+Shift+M: Used to reduce a paragraph’s indent by one level 
  • Ctrl+T: Used to increase a hanging indent 
  • Ctrl+Shift+T: Used to reduce a hanging indent 
  • Ctrl+E: Used to centre a paragraph
  • Ctrl+L: Used tp left-align a paragraph
  • Ctrl+R: Used to right-align a paragraph
  • Ctrl+J: Used to justify a paragraph
  • Ctrl+1: Used to set single-spacing
  • Ctrl+2:  Used to set double-spacing
  • Ctrl+5:  Used to set 1.5 line Spacing
  • Ctrl+0:  Used to remove one-line spacing preceding a paragraph
  • Ctrl+Shift+S:  Used t open a popup window for applying styles
  • Ctrl+Shift+N:  Used to apply the normal paragraph style
  • Alt+Ctrl+1: Used to apply the Heading 1 style
  • Alt+Ctrl+2:  Used to apply the Heading 2 style
  • Alt+Ctrl+3:  Used to apply the Heading 3 style
  • Ctrl+Shift+L:  Used to apply the List style
  • Ctrl+Q:  Used to remove all paragraph formatting

Inserting Characters

These are some rather unique keyboard shortcuts that help you insert common characters or symbols easily without having to run through menus repeatedly to find one.

  • Shift+Enter: Used to insert a line break
  • Ctrl+Enter:  Used to insert a page break
  • Ctrl+Shift+Enter:  Used to insert a column break
  • Ctrl+hyphen (-):  Used to insert an optional hyphen or en dash.
  • Alt+Ctrl+hyphen (-): Used to insert an em dash
  • Ctrl+Shift+hyphen (-): Used to insert a non-breaking hyphen so that Word does not break a hyphenated or complete word at the end of a line. 
  • Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar: Used to insert a non-breaking space
  • Alt+Ctrl+C: Used to insert a copyright symbol
  • Alt+Ctrl+R: Used to insert a registered trademark symbol
  • Alt+Ctrl+T: Used to insert a trademark symbol

Also read: Slack keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Linux and Mac

Kelan Reay Baretto

Kelan Reay Baretto