Keyboard Shortcuts

Updated Feb. 23, 2007.
Prepared by Mary Whisner for Library Lifesavers.

Note: We use Word on PCs running Windows. Some of the tips might not work on Macs.

Keyboard shortcuts are often faster than the mouse. Plus using the mouse less will reduce your risk of repetitive stress injuries.

There and other shortcuts are a regular feature of Word. See Microsoft’s list of keyboard shortcuts for Word 2002 and Word 2003.

ALT-TAB – Moves to another open application, which can be another Word document, a browser window, an Excel spreadsheet, etc.

Select Text

For general editing:

F8 and ARROW KEYS – Selects text

CTRL-A – Selects whole document

CTRL-Y – Repeat

CTRL-Z – Undo

Format Text

Change the appearance of the text:

CTRL-I – Italics

CTRL-B – Bold

CTRL-U – Underline

CTRL-SHIFT-K - Small caps

CTRL-[ –  Makes font one point smaller. Hit it twice to go from 12 point to 10 point

CTRL-] – Makes font one point larger

CTRL-SHIFT-L - Starts a bulleted list

CTRL-SHIFT-) - Increases indent (in a bulleted list, may change type of bullet to show new level)

CTRL-SHIFT-( - Decreases indent (in a bulleted list - may change type of bullet)

CTRL-M - Indents (in a bulleted list, does not change type of bullet)

CTRL-SHIFT-M - Un-indents

Copy, Cut, or Paste Text

CTRL-C – Copy

CTRL-X – Cut

CTRL-V – Paste

See here for how to paste without carrying over the original formatting.

Create a Footnote

ALT-CTRL-F - Inserts a footnote (The up arrow returns you to text.)

Create Your Own Shortcuts

It is easy to change existing keyboard shortcuts or create new ones for certain actions:

Explore Tools > Customize > Keyboard

f an action you see listed doesn’t already have a shortcut, you can create one. But be careful not to overwrite another shortcut you use (or might use). For instance, if you use the shortcut CTRL-F for InsertFootnote (because “footnote” starts with “f”), you lose the ability to use the existing CTRL-F shortcut (EditFind), which searches for a word or phrase in your document. So watch the “Currently assigned” line below the box where you enter shortcuts.

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