Microsoft Word shortcuts

Word offers over 300 shortcuts as shipped, not including the menu shortcuts. This adds up to more shortcuts than any reasonable person would be willing to memorize. There are a few, however, that we’ve found are worth the effort.

F3 expands an autotext entry. If you use autotext very often, you’ll get the hang of this one. Simply type the abbreviation (such as your initials for your address) and hit F3 to replace the abbreviation with the fill entry.

Shift+F3 changes the case of letters. However, the effect of this shortcut depends on the selected text. The basic behavior cycles through all caps, all lowercase, and title capitalization (the first letter of each word capitalized). If the selection includes a sentence break, the shortcut cycles through all caps, all lowercase, and capitalization of the first word in each sentence.

F7 by itself performs a spell-check on the entire document. If you select a word or section first, however, F7 checks the spelling of only that word or selection. If you have the “Check Spelling As You Type” feature turned on, this shortcut probably won’t interest you. If you find that feature distracting and keep it off, you might find this shortcut quite useful.
Shift+F7 checks the thesaurus.
Mnemonic: There’s not really a good mnemonic, but remembering that the F7 key is associated with both spelling and thesaurus commands might help. Shift+F7 checks the thesaurus for the word the cursor is on or just past.

F9 updates the fields. Mnemonic: Again, there’s not really a good mnemonic. All shortcuts dealing with fields use the F9 function key, though. Remember that much and you can, at the very least, experiment with various keystroke combinations. F9 by itself updates the selected fields, if any, or just the field the cursor is in.

Shift+F9 switches between the field code and field result for selected fields.
Mnemonic: Shift between selected field codes and field results.

Alt+F9 switches between showing all field codes and their results.
Mnemonic: Show all (Alt) codes or results.

Ctrl+F9 inserts field markers.
Mnemonic: Control what goes into the field. If you know the field codes you need to enter, use Ctrl+F9 to insert both open and close markers for the field quickly, then type your codes between them. Hit F9 to calculate the field result.

Shift+Ctrl+F9 unlinks a field.
Mnemonic: Shift control from the field to the field result. This converts a calculated field result into permanent text or a permanent graphic.

Alt+Shift+D inserts Date field.
Mnemonic: Date. To insert the date as text, type Alt+Shift+D, then Backspace, followed by Ctrl+Shift+F9 again.

Alt+Shift+T inserts Time field.
Mnemonic: Time. Again, to make the insertion as text, follow the shortcut with Ctrl+Shift+F9.

Ctrl+Shift+S moves you to the Style drop-down box to pick a style.
Mnemonic: Take Control to shift the Style. Once you get to the Style text box, you can open the drop-down list with Alt-Down Arrow.

Ctrl++ formats characters as superscript

Ctrl+= formats characters as subscript.
Mnemonic: Superscript is +. Subscript is the unshifted form of +.

Ctrl+Spacebar returns font to the default format for the style. If you depend on styles for formatting, this is one of the most important shortcuts to learn–particularly if you collaborate with others who may not be familiar with styles.

Ctrl+Shift+* (asterisk) toggles between showing and hiding nonprinting characters. This is equivalent to clicking on the Show/Hide icon in the standard toolbar.

Alt+Shift+Up Arrow moves the paragraph up.

Alt+Shift+Down Arrow moves the paragraph down. (surprise hey!)This command moves the paragraph containing the cursor or selection one paragraph marker at a time.

Alt+Shift+Right (or Left) cycles the selected paragraph through all formats in the Style list.

Ctrl+Shift+> (Greater than sign) increases size (by various increments, depending on the current size).



15 thoughts on “Microsoft Word shortcuts

  1. I have the distinction of being the first to respond to this great information. It has got to be the case that someone never Goggled Microsoft shortcuts before or they didn’t bother to check out most of the first page of hits. Ohterwise, there would be many expressing thier thanks for what you posted.

    I am a beta tester for MicroSoft 2007 and get the usual no instructions or support so I am stubling around trying to find familar functions. The entire line is great but it has major changes that leave me in the dark as to wear to fid something as simple as a real Help key.

    If you have any more of the 300 short cuts, I would most certainly appreciate them and if I can provide any help in return ask and I will do what I can.


  2. Hi Bob,
    I’m very glad to see your valuable comments. I am really happy that my information have satisfied some of the techi guys. I would try to get more shortcuts and let you know once I get with it.

  3. Did you know Alt+F7 takes you to the “next” misspelling?

    You can think of “next” as “the next one I’d want to fix” – which is “first see if there are errors back for about a line and if not get the next forward”…

    Very useful summary of shortcuts, thanks for sharing!

  4. I have come upon a frustrating problem. Instead of drawing a line, I pressed the underline key the whole way. It turned the line into a permanent line that I can’t highlight, erase or get rid of in any way. While the line does not show up on the screen until the last page, it shows up on every page but the first one when it prints out. I am stumped. Any tips? PLEASE! I’m stumped. Thanks.

  5. I am creating a questioaire form. I am trying to create underline that is permanent, thus when someone is writing their answer, it is on top of the line and the underline didnt run but remained the same still. Currently as I type the underline keep moving. Any idea how to create what I have intended? Thanks for help.

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