The inspiration to write this article comes from having the opportunity to see a very skilled typist at work. She was able to start Microsoft Word, prepare and print a document and exited the program, all without once touching her mouse. I later asked her about her skills and she confessed that she had done a few formal word processing courses. After telling her how impressed I was, she said that her mouse was not working.  🙂

Nevertheless, learning shortcut keys is always an asset (and yes it can come in handy if you have a broken mouse).

Here are some that I find useful (in no particular order).

  • =rand()  If you want to get some random text in your word document.*
  • Ctrl + n Create a new document of the same type as the current or most recent document.
  • Ctrl + o Open a document.
  • Ctrl + w Close a document.
  • Ctrl + s Save a document.
  • Ctrl + a select all text
  • Ctrl + b Make letters bold
  • Ctrl + I Make letters italic
  • Ctrl + u Make letters underline
  • Ctrl + shift + < Decrease font size one value
  • Ctrl + shift + > Increase font size one value
  • Ctrl + ] Increase the font size by 1 point
  • Ctrl + [ Decrease the font size by 1 point
  • Ctrl + c Copy the selected text or object
  • Ctrl + x Cut the selected text or object
  • Ctrl + v Paste text or an object
  • Ctrl + z Undo the last action
  • Ctrl + y Redo the last action
  • Ctrl+shift+g Open the Word Count dialog box

Finally, if you hold down the Alt key for a few seconds, you will notice some letters appearing next to the menu buttons, if you want to access a command function you simply release the Alt key and type the corresponding letter.

*If =rand() does not work then try the following steps

  • Office button > Word options >Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > check Replace text as you type > click OK

– Girendra Persaud (November 2012)


One Response to Microsoft Word Tips – Shortcut Keys 101
  1. Good Read… I learnt something – Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+]


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