Microsoft Word Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kevin Stevenson
  • Monday, Dec 16, 2019
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General Program Shortcuts

Ctrl+N: Create a new document

Ctrl+O: Open an existing document

Ctrl+S: Save a document

F12: Open the Save As dialog box

Ctrl+W: Close a document

Ctrl+Z: Undo an action

Ctrl+Y: Redo an action

Alt+Ctrl+S: Split a window or remove the split view

Ctrl+Alt+V: Print Layout View

Ctrl+Alt+O: Outline View

Ctrl+Alt+N: Draft View

Ctrl+F2: Print Preview View

F1: Open the Help pane

Alt+Q: Go to the “Tell me what you want to do” box

F9: Refresh the field codes in the current selection

Ctrl+F: Search a document

F7: Run a spelling and grammar check

Shift+F7: Open the thesaurus. If you have a word selected, Shift+F7 looks up that word in the thesaurus.

Moving Around in a Document

You can use keyboard shortcuts to easily navigate throughout your document. This can save time if you have a long document and don’t want to scroll through the entire thing, or simply want to easily move between words or sentences.

Left/Right Arrow: Move the insertion point (cursor) one character to the left or right

Ctrl+Left/Right Arrow: Move one word to the left or right

Up/Down Arrow: Move up or down one line

Ctrl+Up/Down Arrow: Move up or down one paragraph

End: Move to the end of the current line

Ctrl+End: Move to the end of the document

Home: Move to the beginning of the current line

Ctrl+Home: Move to the beginning of the document

Page Up/Page Down: Move up or down one screen

Ctrl+Page Up/Page Down: Move to the previous or next browse object (after performing a search)

Alt+Ctrl+Page Up/Page Down: Move to the top or bottom of the current window

F5: Open the Find dialog box with the “Go To” tab selected, so you can quickly move to a specific page, section, bookmark, and so on.

Shift+F5: Cycle through the last three locations where the insertion point was placed. If you just opened a document, Shift+F5 moves you to the last point you were editing before closing the document.

Selecting Text

You may have noticed from the previous section that the arrow keys are used for moving your insertion point around, and the Ctrl key is used to modify that movement. Using the Shift key to modify a lot of those key combos lets you select text in different ways.

Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Extend your current selection by one character to the left or right

Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Extend your current selection by one word to the left or right

Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Extend selection up or down one line

Ctrl+Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Extend selection to the beginning or end of the paragraph

Shift+End: Extend selection to the end of the line

Shift+Home: Extend selection to the beginning of the line

Ctrl+Shift+Home/End: Extend selection to the beginning or end of the document

Shift+Page Down/Page Up: Extend selection down or up one screen

Ctrl+A: Select the entire document

F8: Enter selection mode. While in this mode, you can use the arrow keys to extend your selection. You can also press F8 up to five times to extend the selection outward. The first press enters selection mode, the second press selects the word next to the insertion point, the third selects the whole sentence, the fourth all the characters in the paragraph, and the fifth the whole document. Pressing Shift+F8 works that same cycle, but backwards. And you can press Esc any time to leave selection mode. It takes a little playing with to get the hang of it, but it’s pretty fun!

Ctrl+Shift+F8: Selects a column. Once the column is selected, you can use the left and right arrow keys to extend the selection to other columns.

Editing Text

Word also provides a number of keyboard shortcuts for editing text.

Backspace: Delete one character to the left

Ctrl+Backspace: Delete one word to the left

Delete: Delete one character to the right

Ctrl+Delete: Delete one word to the right

Ctrl+C: Copy or graphics to the Clipboard text

Ctrl+X: Cut selected text or graphics to the Clipboard

Ctrl+V: Paste the Clipboard contents

Ctrl+F3: Cut selected text to the Spike. The Spike is an interesting variant on the regular clipboard. You can keep cutting text to the Spike and Word remembers it all. When you paste the Spikes contents, Word pastes everything you cut, but places each item on its own line.

Ctrl+Shift+F3: Paste the Spike contents

Alt+Shift+R: Copy the header or footer used in the previous section of the document

Applying Character Formatting

Word also has loads of keyboard combos for applying character formatting (and paragraph formatting, but that’s covered in the next section. You can use the shortcuts to apply formatting to selected text or to whatever you type next if no text is selected.

Ctrl+B: Apple bold formatting

Ctrl+I: Apply italic formatting

Ctrl+U: Apply underline formatting

Ctrl+Shift+W: Apply underline formatting to words, but not the spaces between words

Ctrl+Shift+D: Apply double underline formatting

Ctrl+D: Open the Font dialog box

Ctrl+Shift+< or >: Decrease or increase font size one preset size at a time

Ctrl+[ or ]: Decrease or increase font size one point at a time

Ctrl+=: Apply subscript formatting

Ctrl+Shift+Plus key: Apply superscript formatting

Shift+F3: Cycle through case formats for your text. Available formats are sentence case (capital first letter, everything else lower case), lowercase, uppercase, title case (first letter in each word capitalized), and toggle case (which reverses whatever’s there).

Ctrl+Shift+A: Formats all letters as uppercase

Ctrl+Shift+K: Formats all letters as lowercase

Ctrl+Shift+C: Copies the character formatting of a selection

Ctrl+Shift+V: Pastes formatting onto selected text

Ctrl+Space: Removes all manual character formatting from a selection

Applying Paragraph Formatting

And just like with character formatting, Word has a bunch of shortcuts particular to formatting paragraphs.

Ctrl+M: Increases a paragraph’s indent one level each time you press it

Ctrl+Shift+M: Reduces a paragraph’s indent one level each time you press it

Ctrl+T: Increases a hanging indent each time you press it

Ctrl+Shift+T: Reduces a hanging indent each time you press it

Ctrl+E: Center a paragraph

Ctrl+L: Left-align a paragraph

Ctrl+R: Right-align a paragraph

Ctrl+J: Justify a paragraph

Ctrl+1: Set single-spacing

Ctrl+2: Set double-spacing

Ctrl+5: Set 1.5 line Spacing

Ctrl+0: Remove one line spacing preceding a paragraph

Ctrl+Shift+S: Open a popup window for applying styles

Ctrl+Shift+N: Apply the normal paragraph style

Alt+Ctrl+1: Apply the Heading 1 style

Alt+Ctrl+2: Apply the Heading 2 style

Alt+Ctrl+3: Apply the Heading 3 style

Ctrl+Shift+L: Apply the List style

Ctrl+Q: Remove all paragraph formatting

Inserting Things

Whether you’re looking to insert a section break in your document, or you just don’t feel like digging for a common symbol, Word’s keyboard combos have you covered.

Shift+Enter: Insert a line break

Ctrl+Enter: Insert a page break

Ctrl+Shift+Enter: Insert a column break

Ctrl+hyphen (-): Insert an optional hyphen or en dash. An optional hyphen tells Word not to use a hyphen, unless the word breaks at the end of a line. If it does, Word will use a hyphen where you placed it.

Alt+Ctrl+hyphen (-): Insert an em dash

Ctrl+Shift+hyphen (-): Insert a non-breaking hyphen. This tells Word not to break a word at the end of a line, even if there’s a hyphen there. This would be useful, for example, if you included something like a telephone number and wanted to make sure it all appeared on one line.

Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar: Insert a non-breaking space

Alt+Ctrl+C: Insert a copyright symbol

Alt+Ctrl+R: Insert a registered trademark symbol

Alt+Ctrl+T: Insert a trademark symbol

Working with Outlines

Hopefully, you outline before cracking into a long document. If you’re among those organized, outlining souls, here are a few shortcuts to help you out.

Alt+Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Promote (move to the left) or demote (move to the right) a line

Ctrl+Shift+N: Demote an outline level to regular body text

Alt+Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Move the line with the insertion point up or down in the outline

Alt+Shift+Plus or Minus keys: Expand or collapse text under a heading

Alt+Shift+A: Expand or collapse all text or headings in an outline

Alt+Shift+L: Show the first line of body text or all body text

Alt+Shift+1: Show all headings that have the Heading 1 style applied

Alt+Shift+any other number key: Show all headings up to that level

Working with Tables

Moving around in tables doesn’t work quite like moving around in regular text. Instead of clicking where you want to go, check out these combos:

Tab: Move to the next cell in a row and select its contents, if there are any

Shift+Tab: Move to the previous cell in a row and select its contents, if there are any

Alt+Home/End: Move to the first or last cell in a row

Alt+Page Up/Page Down: Move to the first or last cell in a column

Up/Down Arrow: Move to the previous or next row

Shift+Up/Down Arrow: Select the cell in the row above or below the insertion point or selection. Keep pressing this combo to keep selecting more cells. If you have multiple cells in a row selected, this combo selects those same cells in the row above or below.

Alt+5 on keypad (with NumLock off): Select an entire table

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