Save keystrokes with this simple shortcut for copying in Word

Save a few keystrokes by using this keyboard shortcut for duplicating text and objects in Word.

When you copy text, you probably press [Ctrl]+C to copy the selection to the Clipboard, move the insertion point to the spot where you want the copied text to appear, and then press [Ctrl]+V. When copying objects, you probably use the same routine, but pasting the object is a little more awkward because you move the object after you paste. There's nothing wrong with this method, but there's an easier way: hold down the [Ctrl] key and move the selection. Doing so automatically duplicates the selection, allowing you to bypass a few steps.

Let's look at a quick example. Moving the AutoShape shown below using the traditional method would require four steps:

  1. Select the AutoShape.
  2. Press [Ctrl]+C.
  3. Press [Ctrl+V.
  4. Move the AutoShape.

Now, let's remove half of step 2 and all of step 3, using the [Ctrl] plus move method, as follows:

  1. Select the AutoShape.
  2. Press [Ctrl] and hold It down.
  3. Move the AutoShape.

It's the same with text: select the text, hold down [Ctrl] and move the selection. It's a bit unnerving at first, because you don't see a second object or duplicate text at first. Once you try it, you'll find yourself using it all the time.

By Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.