Using Keyboard Shortcuts in MS Word
You can avoid reaching for the mouse if you are familiar with keyboard shortcuts.
If you forget one of these, use the mouse and go to the menu bar.
In each pull down menu you will see keyboard commands given in the right side of the window.
Commonly used keyboard combinations
To use one of these combinations Hold the Ctrl or Alt key down and strike the letter key
Open a new word document quickly.
Cut- Removes the selection from the active document and places it on the clipboard.
Opens a previously saved document.
Copies the selection to the clipboard
Closes the active window, but does not Exit Word.
Paste - Inserts the contents of the clipboard at the insertion point (cursor) or whatever is selected.
Saves the active document with its current file name, location and format.
Selects all text and graphics in the active window.
Prints the active file, also gives the opportunity to change print options
Find - Searches for specified text in the active document
Exit - Closes Microsoft Word.
Bold - Formats selected text; make text bold, or remove bold formatting
Undo the last action. This selection can be repeated several times.
Italic - Formats selected text; make text italic or remove italic
Redo - After an action has been undone, it can be reinstated in the document.
Underline - Formats selected text; make text underlined or remove underline
Less commonly used keyboard combinations
Increase selected text in increments like the drop down font menu (Thanks Daniel)
Apply superscript formatting
Decrease selected text in increments like the drop down font menu
Apply subscript formatting
Increase selected text one point
Decrease selected text one point
Change case of the letters
Single space lines
Underline words but not spaces
Set 1.5 line spacing
Double underline text
Double space lines
Center a paragraph
Delete one word to the left
Justify a paragraph
Delete one word to the right
Left align a paragraph
Right align a paragraph
Indent a paragraph from the left
Insert a line break
Create a hanging indent
Reduce a hanging indent
If text is already selected and you want to extend the selection area
Extend selection one character to the left
Extend selection one character to the right
Extend selection to the end of a word
Extend selection to the beginning of a word
If you want to move the cursor
One character to the right
One character to the left
One word to the right
One word to the left
To the end of a document
To the beginning of a document
This list is by no means complete. To find other keyboard combinations check the Word help index.
Leave your browser window open. Open Microsoft Word, if it is not already open.
1. Open a new Word document and type a line of text. If you wish to do so you could copy this line and paste it into the document.
2. Do not reach for your mouse
3. Move your cursor back into the middle of the line you just typed
4. Highlight more than one word (Hint: Extend to left or right to highlight more than the cursor width.)
5. Cut the highlighted text from the document
6. Open a new Word document
7. Paste the text you cut from the first document into the new document
8. Save the document
Each of the steps in the list above should have been accomplished without the use of your mouse. If you reached for the rodent, review the two tables above, go back to step 1 and try again. Good luck.
Exhaustive list of shortcuts in the form of a word document.
Exhaustive list of shortcuts in the form of an excel document.
A Windows Keyboard is available showing general PC/Windows keyboard shortcuts
Go to Entering and Editing Text in Microsoft Word
Go back to Using Microsoft Word to Produce Classroom Documents