Microsoft Word tips and tricks

Twelve All-Time Best Keyboard Shortcut Tips for Word

Learn the keyboard shortcuts that even casual users of Microsoft Word need to know. Find out how to make writing and editing documents faster and easier.

There are many keyboard shortcuts for use in Microsoft Word. However, even if you use Word every day, you probably will use only certain favorites. The large group of people who use Word on a more casual basis are particularly unlikely to remember a large collection of shortcuts. Personally, I use only a few and I have selected twelve shortcuts that I think even casual users need to know in order to get the most out of Word. These shortcuts should work in all current versions of Word through 2013.

Speed up Word with these shortcuts

  1. The "Undo" function—Typed the wrong thing? Deleted something you want back? Then use this shortcut:
    Ctrl+Z
    This is a shortcut that can be used in many applications but a nifty thing in Word is that it can repeated multiple times to go back almost as far as you want. One thing to watch is that Word does not always undo one character at a time but may undo a whole block of type.
  2. The "Redo" function—If you change your mind and want to restore something you just undid, use this shortcut:
    Ctrl+Y
    If there is nothing to undo, this shortcut becomes "Repeat" and will reproduce your last few words as many times as you want.
  3. Copy selected text—This shortcut is used in many applications and you will probably employ it a lot in Word:
    Ctrl+C
  4. Cut selected text—If you want to remove text and place it somewhere else, use this shortcut:
    Ctrl+X
  5. Paste—Also used a lot in various applications, usually in conjunction with the Copy or Cut shortcuts:
    Ctrl+V
  6. Save your document—It pays to save your work frequently and here is the fast way to do it:
    Ctrl+S
  7. Make selected text bold or italic—Want to make some selected text stand out? Make it bold with this shortcut:
    Ctrl+B
    Or emphasize it with italics
    Ctrl+I
  8. Change the case of selected text—Want to go from lower case to upper case or vice versa? Or maybe you want words placed in title case. ¬†Cycle through all upper case, all lower case, or title case (first letter capitalized) with this shortcut (uses the F3 key):
    Shift+F3
  9. Change line spacing—This is actually three related shortcuts for changing the line spacing of selected text or the whole document if it is selected. These are the three options:
    Ctrl+1 - Changes to single line spacing
    Ctrl+2 - Changes to double line spacing
    Ctrl+5 - Changes to 1.5 line spacing
  10. Go to the end of the document—If you have a fairly long document and want to add something, there is a quicker way to get the end than scrolling all the way down. Use this shortcut:
    Ctrl+End
  11. Go to the beginning of the document— If the start of a document is the place you want to be, use this shortcut:
    Ctrl+Home
  12. Control font size of selected text—Here is the easy way to make selected text larger or smaller in small increments with a shortcut that uses the right and left square brackets. Repeat the shortcut until the font is the desired size:
    Ctrl+] - Increases font size
    Ctrl+[ - Decreases font size

These selected dozen keyboard shortcuts will improve the application of Word for even occasional users. For even more selected keyboard shortcuts, see this page. There are also worthwhile shortcuts using the mouse and they are discussed on another page.

Complete lists of Word keyboard shortcuts

Although I believe the average user of Word will find the selection here to be pretty much all that they wish to try to remember, there are many other keyboard shortcuts. Those who are creating Word documents day in and day out can check these compendia of shortcuts given by Microsoft for any additions that they might find useful.