My favourite shortcut keys in Microsoft Word

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft WordIn todays post I am going to show you my favourite keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word. You may have noticed that I’m a fan of efficiency. If there is an option to do something faster in any of the Microsoft programs then I use it. During any of my training courses, I spend a good slice of time at the beginning showing participants my favourite shortcut key combinations for the specific program we are looking at. I then reference these shortcuts throughout the day in the hope that by the time participants get back to their desk the next day, at least a couple of the shortcuts have stuck in their minds.

For the most part with keyboard shortcuts, I feel that the ability to keep your hands on the keyboard instead of having to move your hand to the mouse, locate the cursor on the screen, move to the location you want on the program window and click a button, is much more efficient in your daily routine. Once you can memorise these combinations you will be working in a much faster and more efficient way.

So today I’m going to go through my favourite and the most efficient shortcut keys in Microsoft Word. The great thing about many of the shortcuts I mention here is that they can be used in many of the different programs. To download this list in PDF format, simply scroll to the bottom of this post.

Shortcut Keys Description
Ctrl + N Create a new document. Don’t go to the File tab or the Office button; just press this combination for a new blank document to appear.
Ctrl + O Open a new document. This will display the Open window from Backstage view allowing you to navigate the list of Recent Documents you have accessed or Browse your computer. No need to go to the File tab or Office button for this function.
Ctrl + F12 Open a document whilst bypassing the Backstage view window and go directly to the Open dialog box.
Ctrl + W Close the current document whilst leaving Microsoft Word open for your next task.
Ctrl + S Save the document. If you have not saved the document prior then you will be prompted to give the document a file name and specify a location. If the document has already been saved before it will save any changes you have made since opening or since you last pressed save.
F12 The F12 button will automatically perform a Save As regardless of if the file has been saved before or not.
Ctrl + B Apply the Bold formatting. Simply highlight a word, sentence or entire paragraph and press this combination to apply bold.
Ctrl + I Apply the Italics formatting. Simply highlight a word, sentence or entire paragraph and press this combination to apply italics.
Ctrl + U Apply the Underline formatting. Simply highlight a word, sentence or entire paragraph and press this combination to apply underline.
Ctrl + C Performs the Copy function. You can highlight a word, sentence or entire paragraph and press this combination to copy the text including the formatting.
Ctrl + X Performs the Cut function. You can highlight a word, sentence or entire paragraph and press this combination to cut the text from its original location.
Ctrl + V Performs the Paste function. Use this to Paste anything you have previously cut or copied.
Ctrl + Z Undo. Undo. Undo. Need I say more? If you make a boo-boo, undo. I often have people will hit a key on the keyboard or click something on the mouse and they have no idea what they did, just UNDO.. You can press this multiple times to undo multiple things.
Ctrl + A Use this combination if you want to select an element or object in your document. For example, place your cursor inside a table and press Ctrl + A and it will select ALL of the table. Or have your cursor anywhere in your entire document and press Ctrl + A to select all the text.
Ctrl + L Make the selected paragraph Left aligned.
Ctrl + R Make the selected paragraph Right aligned.
Ctrl + E Make the selected paragraph Centre aligned.
Ctrl + J Make the selected paragraph Justify aligned.
Ctrl + P Print the current document, this shortcut combination will open the Print Preview window.
Ctrl + ] Increase the font size. Keep pressing this combination to keep increasing font size.
Ctrl + [ Decrease the font size. Again keep pressing this combination to keep decreasing the size.
Ctrl + Home Move your cursor from anywhere in your document, back to the start of the document. Just press the Home button without Ctrl to move to the start of the current line in your document.
Ctrl + End Move your cursor from anywhere in your document, to the end of your document. Just press the End button without Ctrl to move to the end of the current line in your document.
F4 This is one of my favourites! F4 = repeat! If you have just highlighted some text and applied a specific numbered list, highlight the next text and press F4 and it will repeat the last step for you. If you have just added a new row to a table, press F4 and it will add another. A big time saver!

So there is the list of my favourite shortcut key combinations. These combinations are the ones I use most often. There are of course lots more shortcut key options available which you can see by accessing the built-in Microsoft Word Help feature (Shortcut key F1) and search for keyboard shortcuts. I hope these shortcut keys can help to improve your efficiency when using Microsoft Word. I love hearing about shortcut combinations that other people use so feel free to comment below if you have a favourite combination not listed here.

Be sure to check out my other posts for keyboard shortcuts to use in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint.

If you would like a printable copy of all my favourite keyboard shortcuts, simply subscribe to our newsletter below and a copy will be emailed to you.

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