Best Microsoft Word shortcuts for writers and editors

hands-on-keyboardIf you’ve ever used CTRL + S to save a file or CTRL + B to boldface something, you already know how to use Microsoft Word shortcuts. These keystroke combos save you time—and save your wrist from having to mouse up to the ribbon and make multiple clicks.
Here’s a list of our favorite shortcuts, including lesser-known ones that can turbocharge your efficiency.
You can download the PDF version here.

SELECT AND MOVE TEXT

CTRL + A                     Select all
F8                                    Toggle between selecting word, sentence, paragraph, and all
CTRL + Shift + →     Select word to the right of the cursor
CTRL + Shift + ←     Select word to the left of the cursor
CTRL + Shift + ↑       Select paragraph above the cursor
CTRL + Shift + ↓       Select paragraph below the cursor
CTRL + C                     Copy
CTRL + X                     Cut
CTRL + V                     Paste
CTRL + F3                   Spike text (i.e., cut multiple chunks of text and save them all on the clipboard)
CTRL + Shift + F3    Paste spiked text

JUSTIFY THINGS

CTRL + L                       Left justify text
CTRL + R                       Right justify text
CTRL + E                       Center text
CTRL + Shift + L        Bulletize text

INSERT COOL THINGS

CTRL + ALT + (minus on number pad)     Insert em dash
CTRL + (minus on number pad)                   Insert en dash
Right-click + New comment                            Insert a comment
Right-click + Link                                                 Insert a link

INSERT BREAKS

CTRL + Enter                    Insert page break
Shift + Enter                      Insert manual line break
CTRL + Shift + Enter     Insert nonbreaking space

FORMAT THINGS

Shift + F3                  Toggle between all caps, lowercase, and initial caps
CTRL + B                   Boldface
CTRL + I                     Italicize
CTRL + U                   Underline
CTRL + Shift + =     Superscript
CTRL + =                    Subscript
CTRL + Shift + >     Increase font size by two points
CTRL + Shift + <     Decrease font size by two points

NAVIGATE IN A NIFTY WAY

Shift + F5                 Go to the last place you were editing
ALT + CTRL + Z    Toggle between the last four places you were editing
CTRL +→                  Jump one word to the right
CTRL + ←                 Jump one word to the left
CTRL + ↑                   Jump to the top of the paragraph above
CTRL + ↓                   Jump to the top of the paragraph below
CTRL + F                  Find an item
CTRL + H                 Find and replace an item

DO THINGS, THEN UNDO THEM!

CTRL + Z                 Undo
CTRL + Y                 Redo
F4                                Repeat previous action

This post is part of a series featuring Dragonfly field guides, tips, and tricks. 
You can download the PDF version here.

Author

Learn more about making Dragonfly part of your team