Word: Lesser known keyboard shortcuts

September 20, 2012

There are likely hundreds of keyboard shortcuts built into Word, most of which you’ll never need to know.

Committing a few keyboard shortcuts to memory will end up saving you a lot of time when you’re writing or reviewing documents. Keyboard shortcuts mean you just press two or more keys at the same time and the action is performed. You don’t have to hunt around on the ribbons with your mouse then click four or five times to do what you need to do. Over the life of a document, you can save many hours by using the keyboard instead of the mouse.

Many Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts may be familiar to you (e.g. Ctrl+s to save, Ctrl+c to copy, Ctrl+v to paste, Ctrl+f to find, Ctrl+z to undo, etc.). But here’s a list of some that aren’t so familiar that you may find useful when writing or reviewing documents (NOTE: Don’t type the plus sign!).

Shortcut Does this
Ctrl+Shift+= Superscripts the selected text
Ctrl+= Subscripts the selected text
Ctrl+Alt+m Inserts a comment box
Ctrl+Shift+e Toggles track changes on and off
Ctrl+Tab Inserts a tab within a table cell
Ctrl+Shift+spacebar Inserts a nonbreaking space to keep things together that must stay together; e.g. to keep a value and its unit of measure together and stop them splitting at the end of a line
Alt+0150 (numeric keypad ONLY) Inserts an en dash
Alt+0151 (numeric keypad ONLY) Inserts an em dash
Shift+F3 Toggles the case of the selected text between upper, mixed, and lower case
F4 Repeats the IMMEDIATE last action


See also:

[Links last checked September 2012; based on a Writing Tip I wrote for my work colleagues]

One comment

  1. Good list, Rhonda. On a Mac, these are
    cmd + shift + =
    cmd + =
    cmd + opt + a
    –> and to exit the comment box: esc
    cmd + shift + e
    opt + tab
    opt + space
    opt + –
    opt + shift + –
    shift + F3 <– note the only exact same shortcut, ever
    cmd + y

    Another oft-neglected set of keyboard shortcuts are those for navigating (and selecting) text in any program. Mac shortcuts are here. They're similar on Windows—substitute ctrl for cmd: http://www.copyediting.com/5-ways-select-text

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