35 easy keyboard shortcuts to improve your workflow in Word

sara donaldson 1

keyboard 886462 1920There’s a lot of talk among editors and wordy wordsmiths about using macros to help efficiency when you’re working. Truth be told, macros can be scary and take a bit of getting used to.

But there are clever little tricks that can help you become more efficient without having to go through the learning curve of macros and the swearing that can sometimes entail. Believe me, when playing with macros I have learnt a few new swearwords.

Now, Word’s ribbon feature is a godsend for quickly toggling between page layout, the document basics, tables etc. but it’s quicker if you don’t have to reach for your mouse or the trackpad.

I’ll bet a lot of you are using many of these already. On the other hand, I do know there are heaps of people that don’t know about these shortcuts and don’t use them on a regular basis.

Disclaimer: I’m one of those poor people who don’t have a Mac, so if you are one of the privileged this may not work for you.

Here, for your delight and delectation – 35 easy keyboard shortcuts to improve your workflow In Word.

New / Open Document

If you already have Word open, these can save a little time.

Ctrl+N                  (new)

Ctrl+O                 (open)

Undo and Redo

Handy as anything. Yes, there’s a button you can click on the ribbon, but why bother when this is quick as a quick thing.

Ctrl+Z                  (undo)

Ctrl+Y                  (re-do)

Italic, Bold, Underline, All Caps, Highlight

I use these ALL THE TIME. For the first four, use them as toggles – hit the combination once to make the change, hit it again to undo. If you highlight then change your mind use Ctrl+Z to undo.

Crtl+I                   (italic)

Crtl+B                  (bold)

Ctrl+U                  (underline)

Ctrl+Shift+A        (all caps)

Ctrl+alt+H           (highlight)

Add a Bullet Point

Use this to add a bullet point without having to go to the ribbon

Ctrl+Shift+L        (bullet point)

Insert a Hyperlink

When you need to add a hyperlink to your document, select the word and use this shortcut.

Ctrl+K                  (insert hyperlink)

typography 1069409 1920Fonts

Make your font bigger, add superscript / subscript or open the Font box using these.

Ctrl+>                  (make your font bigger in increments)

Ctrl+<                  (make your font smaller in increments)

Ctrl+=                  (make subscript  – that’s Control plus the equal sign. When your + and = signs are on the same key it can screw with your mind a little if you overthink it!)

Ctrl+shift++        (make superscript)

Ctrl+D                  (open font box)

Quick Line Spacing

Select the text then:

Ctrl+1                  (makes line spacing 1.0)

Crtl+2                  (makes line spacing 2.0)

Ctrl+5                  (makes line spacing 1.5)

Go to Beginning / End of a Document

Ctrl+home          (go to the beginning)

Ctrl+end              (go to the end of the document)

Insert Current Time / Date

Handy for when you need to quickly add time or date to your document.

Shift+Alt+D         (date)

Shift+Alt+T         (time)

Select and Select All

I use Select All more than the first two, but they’re useful if you want to select sections of text.

Ctrl+Shift+right arrow     (selects each word, one at a time moving right)

Ctrl+Shift+left arrow       (selects each word, one at a time moving left)

Ctrl+Shift+up arrow        (selects each paragraph, one at a time moving up)

Ctrl+Shift+down arrow   (selects each paragraph, one at a time moving down)

Ctrl+A                                (select all)

scissors 2116979 1920Cut, Copy and Paste

I use these on every job. These shortcuts are real time-savers.

Ctrl+X                  (cut)

Ctrl+C                  (copy)

Ctrl+V                  (paste)

Find and Replace

Again, something I use on a regular basis. When you’re looking for a word in the document, or need to replace one word or phrase for another, this is a lot quicker than reaching for the trackpad.

Ctrl+F                  (find)

Ctrl+H                  (replace)

Save and Print

Ctrl+S                                (save)

Ctrl+P                                (opens print dialogue box)

So, there you go. Thirty-five Word keyboard shortcuts that will save you time and have you working like a professional wordsmith in no time.

If you’d like to help me save for a Mac so I can see if these things work on one, why not hire me to copyedit or copywrite for you. Email meand we can talk over your wordy requirements.

This post was originally published on Sara Donaldson’s s blog. Sara is a freelance editor with an eye for a mystery. When not editing a range of projects (mostly non-fiction) she can be found with her Sherlock hat on as a professional genealogist. You can find her on Twitter.

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  1. You know, I was a fan of WordPerfect for precisely this reason! I loved learning all the codes, and I’ve never been properly reconciled to Word- maybe this way now I’ll get the best of both worlds. Thanks for this; I may yet be able to ditch my mouse/ touchscreen haha

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