TechProGuild FastAnswer: Learning Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts

GUIs make applications like Microsoft Word much easier to learn, but having to reach for the mouse can actually be counter productive. Knowing a few keyboard shortcuts can save you some time. Here are some of the most common ones.

Save time. TechProGuild members can download the preformatted, ready-to-print version of this FastAnswer handout. The next time the problem arises in your organization, simply print and distribute the file directly to end users or members of your IT staff.

The problem

Many tasks in Microsoft Word can be accomplished using keystroke combinations rather than pointing and clicking the mouse. Remembering these keystrokes can be difficult.

The cause

Back in the days of DOS, whenever users wanted to do something like change a font or print they had to remember arcane keyboard combinations. Windows made applications easier to learn by implementing a GUI and drop down menus requiring the use of a mouse. This made applications easier to learn but a little less efficient, because it forced the user to let go of the keyboard to accomplish simple tasks. Knowing the proper keyboard commands allows users to quickly do things without having to reach for the mouse.

Provide your feedback on this version

This is a version of one of TechProGuild's new FastAnswer handouts. The PDF download aims to save you time by eliminating the need to repeatedly research common questions and providing you with a preformatted, step-by-step solution you can pass directly to users or staff. Please send your comments and any recommended revisions to Erik Eckel.

The solution

Microsoft didn't completely do away with the keyboard combinations used in old DOS word processing programs. Some of the most important Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts you can use include:

Alternative solutions

This chart includes only a partial list of the keyboard shortcuts available in Microsoft Word. For a complete list, you can either check the Help function in Microsoft Word or check out Microsoft's Web Site. You can obtain Excel shortcut information from TechRepublic's Quick Reference: Microsoft Office Pack.

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