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.

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