Posts Tagged ‘keyboard shortcuts’


Word: Use the keyboard to add a word to the dictionary

April 23, 2023

In the category of ‘OMG—I didn’t know I could do that!!’ comes this tip from Allen Wyatt’s WordTips newsletter: where he describes several ways of using the keyboard instead of right-clicking with the mouse to add a word to the dictionary.

I just tested the ‘right-click’ button on my keyboard on a misspelled word in Word and it does as he says! But more importantly, it’s not just for adding words to the dictionary—in fact, you can use it ANYWHERE and in ANY program where right-click options are available (including your browser, desktop etc.) and, depending on the context, you’ll get the relevant shortcut menu displayed, from which you can use the arrow keys to navigate to the function you want.

I guess I’ve never really noticed some of the newer keys on the keyboard over the years (I started with computers in the mid-80s, getting my first PC in 1994). And if I knew about that right-click key at any point, I’d forgotten about it.

So, where is this magic key? On 104-key Windows keyboards it’s immediately left of the Ctrl key on the right. Try it out! (I have no idea if there’s anything similar on a Mac)


Word: Add a euro symbol

February 5, 2020

There are several ways you can add a euro symbol in Microsoft Word for Windows:

  • Type (E) — as soon as you type the closing parenthesis, it converts to the euro symbol. If you really want to type (E) and NOT have it change to a euro, then immediately press Ctrl+z to undo that last action (conversion).
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+e.
  • Go to Insert > Symbol, select More Symbols, then from the Font list for (normal text), select the symbol (see the screenshot below), then click Insert.
  • Hold down the Alt key as you type 0128 on the keyboard’s number pad (this will NOT work for the numbers above the keys—you must use the number pad). Where did I get this number from? If you look at the bottom right of the screenshot below, you’ll see that the ASCII character code for a euro symbol is 128. I know that I need to add a zero in front of the number (I’ve forgotten how I know this!), so that’s where the 0128 comes from.

Screenshot of Symbol window, showing normal text selected as the font, and the Euro symbol selected from the table of symbols.

Thanks to JC for inspiring me to write this post and to investigate and test the various quick and easy ways to write this symbol.


Word: List keyboard shortcuts, autotext, and autocorrect entries

May 3, 2017

There are many things you can do to help automate the writing and editing process. Power users of Word use keyboard shortcuts extensively — either the in-built ones that come with Word (e.g. Ctrl+s to save, Ctrl+c to copy etc.), or ones they’ve created themselves. Power users also use AutoText and AutoCorrect to speed up inserting commonly used text, tables, etc. (See the links below for some of the blog posts I’ve written on all these.)

But how do you know what you’ve got available to use? Some of the more obscure in-built keyboard commands are difficult to find listed anywhere, and how do you remember which ones you’ve created for your own use? How can you get a list of these shortcuts, and a list of your AutoText and AutoCorrect entries? Of course, once you have a list you can then save it or print it out to refer to at any time.

I used Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows when writing this blog post — the same (or very similar) information should apply to later versions of Word for Windows. Mac users — you may be able to do this too, but as I don’t own a Mac, I can’t test on a Mac or write about Mac stuff.

List all in-built Microsoft Word keyboard commands

  1. Open a blank Word document.
  2. Go to the View tab and click the large Macros icon.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow for the Macros in list, then select Word commands.
  4. Select ListCommands in the top box.
  5. Click Run.

List all custom keyboard commands

  1. Open a Word document that is based on the template where you know the custom keyboard commands are stored (if stored in Normal, just open a blank Word document).
  2. Go to the File tab and select Print.
  3. Under Settings, change from the default Print All Pages to Key Assignments.
  4. Choose your printer (e.g. PDF if you want a document to save), then click Print.

List all AutoText entries

  1. Open a blank Word document.
  2. Go to the File tab and select Print.
  3. Under Settings, change from the default Print All Pages to AutoText Entries.
  4. Choose your printer (e.g. PDF if you want a document to save), then click Print.

List all AutoCorrect entries

Use the macro described here:

See also:

[Links last checked April 2023]


Word: Assign keyboard shortcut to paste unformatted text

August 11, 2016

I’ve previously written about using toolbar icons, macros, or other features of Word to paste copied text as unformatted text (see and

However, if you have to do this a lot, there’s another, much easier, way — assign a keyboard shortcut to the ‘paste as unformatted text’ command.

Note: As far as I’m aware you can do this in all versions of Word from at least Word 2010 onwards.

  1. Open Word.
  2. On the File menu, click Options to open the Word Options dialog box.
  3. Click Customize ribbon in the left panel.
  4. Below the left panel of commands, click the Customize button (next to Keyboard shortcuts) to open the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  5. Scroll down the list of Categories (top left box) to All commands and select it (number 1 in the screenshot below).
  6. In the Commands list (top right box), type p to get to the commands starting with ‘p’.
  7. Scroll down to PasteTextOnly and select it (2 in the screenshot).
  8. In the Press new shortcut key field, PRESS the keys you want to use for this shortcut. Do NOT type them. For example, if you want the keyboard shortcut to be Alt+p+t (‘p’ for paste, ‘t’ for text), then press those keys as though you were using them in the document. They will display in the field similar to this: Alt+P,T (3 in the screenshot).
  9. Checked that Currently assigned to has [unassigned] next to it. If it doesn’t, then the key combination you chose is already used for something else and you’ll have to assign a new combination in the Press new shortcut key field.
  10. Click Assign (4 in the screenshot). The new keyboard shortcut will shift into the Current keys box.
  11. Click Close.
  12. Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.
  13. Test your keyboard shortcut by copying some formatted text from another source (web page, another document, etc.), then use the keyboard shortcut you just assigned to paste it into your Word document as unformatted text.

[Links last checked August 2016]


Word: More lesser known keyboard shortcuts

June 15, 2016

Following on from an earlier post (, here are some more keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word for Windows.

Shortcut Does this
Ctrl+Shift+8 Toggles formatting marks on and off
Ctrl+1 Applies single-line spacing to the selected paragraph(s)
Ctrl+2 Applies double-line spacing to the selected paragraph(s)
Ctrl+5 Applies 1.5-line spacing to the selected paragraph(s)
Ctrl+0 (zero) Toggles the ‘space before’ setting for the paragraph where the cursor is to 12 pt (if some other value) or 0 pt (if the previous setting was 12 pt)
Alt+Ctrl+z Jump to your previous editing location

See also:

[Link last checked June 2016]


Dealing with spans of numbers and symbols related to numbers

July 22, 2014

Based on a Writing Tip I wrote for my work colleagues…


Below is a scanned image of a page from the Australian Style Manual, detailing how to deal with spans of numbers and other numbering conventions (click on it to view it larger).


Some of the terms used on this page maybe unfamiliar to you, so here’s an explanation of those terms (plus some others), along with the Microsoft Word (for Windows) keyboard commands to insert them, where available.

Please note: Keyboard numerals and other keys with an asterisk (*) can ONLY be used on the numeric keypad, NOT the numbers across the top of the keyboard, and if there’s an Alt prefix, you must hold down the Alt key while pressing the numbers in sequence.


Term Looks like How to get it (menu) How to get it (keyboard) Notes
Hyphen, dash, subtraction (standard keys) (standard keys) Use a hyphen for separating hyphenated words, such as compound adjectives, e.g. five-year plan
En rule (also known as [aka] ‘en dash’), minus Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Special Characters tab Alt+0150 * or Ctrl+- * or type two hyphens immediately after a word (no spaces) followed by the next word Slightly longer than a hyphen; use for spans of numerals or words, e.g. 100–150 m, north–south orientation
Em rule (aka ‘em dash’) Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Special Characters tab Alt+0151 * or Ctrl+Alt+- *or type three hyphens immediately after a word (no spaces) followed by the next word Longer than an en dash; use instead of parentheses or commas for inserting extra information in a sentence; e.g. … The main vessels—the LMN and ABC—are considered…
Non-breaking space ° Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Special Characters tab Ctrl+Shift+<spacebar> Can only be seen if show formatting is turned on; looks like a degree symbol, but does NOT print; forces a value and its unit of measure to stay together even when a line wrap might normally separate them. Always use between values and their units of measure; e.g. 50 km.
Multiplication sign × Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Symbols tab: 3rd bottom row of (normal text) list Alt+0215 * You can use a lower or upper case ‘x’, but ‘x’ is not a true multiplication sign.
Division sign ÷ Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Symbols tab: bottom row of (normal text) list Alt+0247 * You can use a / to indicate division, but / can be used for other purposes, so use the division sign instead.
Plus/minus sign ± Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Symbols tab: 9th row of (normal text) list Alt+0177 * You can use +/- instead, though it’s not as neat as ±.
Superscript number m3 Home > Font > Superscript check box Ctrl+Shift+= Select the text to superscript, then apply the formatting. If you grab extra characters, either turn off the superscripting the same way, or press Ctrl+<spacebar> to return that text to its default.
Subscript number CO2 Home > Font > Subscript check box Ctrl+= As for superscripting (above)
Degree symbol ° Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Symbols tab: 9th row of (normal text) list (Word 2007 and 2010 at least) Alt+0176 * Be careful you don’t choose the symbol on the 10th row of the symbol list—the correct degree symbol is on the 9th row next to the ± sign.
Greater than or equal to (see instructions below this table) (see instructions below this table) Don’t use >=.
Less than or equal to (see instructions below this table) (see instructions below this table) Don’t use <=.
Micron/mu µ Insert > Symbol > More Symbols > Symbols tab: 9th row of (normal text) list Alt+0181 * Don’t use ‘u’.

For mathematical symbols such as ‘greater than or equal to’ (≥), there’s a setting you can turn on in Word that will convert characters such as >= to the correct symbol (i.e. ≥). It’s not turned on by default—you have to turn it on.

  1. Click the File tab (top left of the Word window).
  2. Click Options (near the bottom of the list on the left).
  3. Select Proofing on the left.
  4. Click the AutoCorrect Options button (top right).
  5. Select the Math AutoCorrect tab.
  6. Check the box to Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions. If you scroll down the list you can see what will be automatically converted—the ones for the ‘greater than or equal to’ example above are at the very end of the list.
  7. Click OK twice to exit Word Options.

(Note: These Word Options settings don’t carry across to Outlook or other Office programs, but you can turn this Math AutoCorrect setting on in Outlook the same way using Outlook’s Editor Options.)


Word: Jump back to a link

March 17, 2014

If you Ctrl+click on an automated cross-reference to jump to the target location in your Word document, did you know that you can go back to your previous location by pressing Alt+left arrow key?

And if you’ve jumped to several cross-reference locations one after the other, pressing the Alt+left arrow key multiple times will take you back through the cross-references you clicked in reverse order.

BONUS: Pressing Alt+right arrow key straight after you’ve pressed Alt+left arrow will take you back to the previous location!

Super quick and easy, but another of Word’s ‘hidden’ keyboard shortcuts.


[Thanks to Paula R for sharing this with me]

See also:


Word: Moving a table row quickly

February 18, 2013

Here’s a neat trick I learned from this post:

You can quickly move one or more table rows up or down a table by pressing Shift+Alt and either the up or down arrow key.

Who knew? That one was new to me, but I suspect I’ll use it quite a bit!


Word 2010: Keyboard shortcut to paste unformatted text

November 21, 2012

In Word 2003 and 2007, you couldn’t easily paste copied text as unformatted text. You either had to go through several clicks in the menus, or set up a macro and assign a keyboard shortcut to it (see this blog post for how to do this in Word 2003/2007:

However, in Word 2010 you don’t have to do any of that as there’s a quick and easy way to paste as unformatted text using the keyboard. Laura alerted me to it in her 13 November 2012 comment on the Word 2003/2007 post above, and, with some more help a few days later from Xuberi, I finally got it!

To paste copied text as unformatted text in Word 2010 using the keyboard:

  1. Press Ctrl+v to paste the copied text into your document.
  2. Press and then release Ctrl to activate the Paste Options icon.
  3. Press t to select the ‘Text only’ option (pressing t is a separate action to pressing Ctrl in step 2 — DO NOT press them together otherwise it won’t work).

More detailed explanation:

What happens in Word 2010 when you press Ctrl+v (Step 1) is that you get the Paste Options icon, and it has (Ctrl) next to it, indicating that the Ctrl key activates the options (you don’t get this in Word 2003 or 2007):

So when you press and release Ctrl (step 2 above), the Paste Options display:

Now you press the key for the paste option you want — hover over each option’s icon to see which key activates it:

The keyboard options are:

  • H — Use destination theme
  • K — Keep source formatting
  • M — Merge formatting
  • T — Keep text only (the unformatted text option).

See also:

[Links last checked November 2012]


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]