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Microsoft Word


Review of Common Text Editing Shortcut Keys

Before learning any new shortcut keys for Microsoft Word, you may wish to review the Common Shortcut Keys article in the Keyboard section. Those basics are absolutely vital for saving time when working with Microsoft Word.

For the sake of completeness, I've included the common shortcut keys discussed from that article in these tables as well. So, you may see some shortcut keys you already know.

Shortcut Keys

Formatting Text: Changing Decoration

Ctrl+BBold the selected text bold
Ctrl+IItalicize the selected text italic
Ctrl+UUnderline the selected text
Ctrl+Shift+DDouble underline
Ctrl+Shift+NApply "Normal" style

Formatting Text: Changing Fonts

Ctrl+DOpen font options dialog box
Ctrl+Shift+FSelect font face in toolbar
Ctrl+Shift+PSelect font size in toolbar
Ctrl+]Increase font size by one pt
Ctrl+[Decrease font size by one pt
Ctrl+Shift+>Increase font size
Ctrl+Shift+<<Decrease font size
Ctrl+SpacebarReset to default font face

Formatting Text: Manipulating Paragraphs

Ctrl+ECenter paragraph
Ctrl+MJustify paragraph
Ctrl+LFlush paragraph left
Ctrl+RFlush paragraph right
Ctrl+MIndent paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+MUn-indent paragraph
Ctrl+1Single-space lines
Ctrl+2Double-space lines
Ctrl+51.5-space lines

Remember that you can use these shortcut keys both for existing text and for new text. To understand, let's look at the example of bolding text:

  • If you have existing text that you want to bold: 1) select that text, 2) hit the Ctrl+B shortcut key to make the text bold.
  • If you are going to type some text that you want to be bold: 1) hit the Ctrl+B shortcut key, 2) type the text, 3) then hit Ctrl+B again to turn off the bolding.

Editing Text

Ctrl+BackspaceDelete the previous word
Ctrl+DelDelete the next word
Ctrl+FFind text in the current document
Ctrl+HReplace text in the current document
Ctrl+EnterPage break

Moving the Cursor

These shortcut keys are great for navigating around documents. For example, I use Ctrl+RightArrow (move the cursor right one word) when I'm trying to edit a word in the middle of a line since it gets me there faster than picking up my mouse and clicking there. I also use Ctrl+DownArrow (move the cursor to the next paragraph) to scan the entire document quickly.

PageUpMove the cursor up a page
PageDownMove the cursor down a page
HomeMove the cursor to the beginning of the line
EndMove the cursor to the end of the line
Ctrl+HomeMove the cursor to the beginning of the document
Ctrl+EndMove the cursor to the end of the document
Ctrl+LeftArrowMove the cursor left one word
Ctrl+RightArrowMove the cursor right one word
Ctrl+UpArrowMove the cursor to beginning of, or previous paragraph
Ctrl+DownArrowMove the cursor to end of, or next paragraph

Selecting Text

The shortcut keys for selecting text are directly related to those that move the cursor around. Just add a Shift:

Shift+PageUpSelect everything between the cursor and a page previous
Shift+PageDownSelect everything between the cursor and a page after
Shift+HomeSelect everything between the cursor and the beginning of the line
Shift+EndSelect everything between the cursor and the end of the line
Shift+Ctrl+HomeSelect everything betweeen the cursor and the beginning of the document
Shift+Ctrl+EndSelect everything between the cursor and the end of the document
Shift+Ctrl+LeftArrowSelect the word to the left
Shift+Ctrl+RightArrowSelect the word to the right

Using the Clipboard

Ctrl+CCopy what's selected
Ctrl+XCut what's selected
Ctrl+VPaste what you last copied or cut
Ctrl+ASelect all

Working with Documents

Ctrl+NNew document
Ctrl+OOpen existing document
Ctrl+SSave document
F12Save document as...
Ctrl+WClose document
Ctrl+PPrint document
Ctrl+F6Switch to the next open documewnt
Ctrl+Shift+F6Switch to the previous open documewnt
Alt+F4Exit Microsoft Word


F7Open spellcheck dialog box
Shift+F7Open thesaurus dialog box
Ctrl+ZUndo your last action
Ctrl+YRedo your last action

Mouse Shortcuts

Microsoft Word also has support for some mouse shortcuts. Overall, I recommend learning the keyboard shortcuts so you don't have to switch from keyboard to mouse to keyboard. But, sometimes these can come in handy:

Double-click a wordSelect the word
Triple-click a wordSelect the paragraph
Left-click the space on the left of a lineSelect the line
Double-click the space on the left of a lineSelect the paragraph
Ctrl+ScrollUpZoom in on the document
Ctrl+ScrollDownZoom out of the document
Click and drag some textSelect text from where you click and hold to where you let go
Click and drag the space on the left of a lineSelect the lines you drag over

Example Scenarios

Scenario: Bold some text you are about to type

  1. Ctrl+B to turn on the bold feature
  2. Type the text you want to be bold
  3. Ctrl+B to turn off the bold feature

Scenario: Selecting A Line Of Text

  1. Home to move the cursor to the beginning of the line
  2. Shift-End to move the cursor to the end of the line and select everything alonig the way

Links To More Information

If these weren't enough shortcut keys for you, take a look at Microsoft's List of keyboard shortcuts for Word 2002 and for Word 2003.