10 Shortcuts for Microsoft Word (Plus: Free Cheat Sheet)

Microsoft Word is the perfect way of getting thoughts down on (digital) paper, no matter whether they are project drafts or to-do lists. Microsoft provides a large number of keyboard combinations that make using the word processing program that bit easier. We endorse the following ten shortcuts. A  practical cheat sheet to attach to your monitor is also available.

Applies to Microsoft Word 2013 and 2016. The shortcuts work if you select English as a language for your MS Word installation.

An article by the COMPAREX Editorial Team

1 Return to your last editing location when opening a document: It’s easy to lose track of the last page you worked on, especially when dealing with longer texts. The "Shift" + "F5" combination puts paid to that laborious search through the document, and places the cursor precisely where it had been the last time you closed the document.

Shortcut 1/10

Return to your last editing location when opening a document

2 Increase or reduce the size of a selection: However how you plan to format your text, the first step is always to mark the relevant passage. Press "F8" once to select a word, twice to mark a sentence, and so on. Did you mark one paragraph too many by mistake? The keyboard combination "Shift" + "F8" reduces the selection in an instant.

Shortcut 2/10

Increase or reduce the size of a selection

3 Undo: Oops, have you accidentally deleted a marked paragraph? Don’t worry, you will not have to type up the text again. The keyboard shortcut "Ctrl" + "Z" reverses the last action.

Shortcut 3/10


4 Set 1.5-line spacing: 1.5-line spacing increases text legibility. The keyboard combination "Ctrl" + "5" saves time when formatting a document.

Shortcut 4/10

Set 1.5-line spacing

5 Apply bold formatting: Some parts of a text are more important than others, and so they deserve to be highlighted especially. Use the shortcut "Ctrl" + "B" to apply bold type to the selected section without switching laboriously between the keyboard and the mouse.

Shortcut 5/10

Apply bold formatting

6 Move selected paragraphs up or down: Maybe you feel that the image would look better on the next page? The combination of "Alt" + "Shift" + "↑" or "Alt" + "Shift" + "↓" moves paragraphs that bit faster.

Shortcut 6/10

Move selected paragraphs up or down

7 Open the References tab to add a table of contents, footnotes, or a table of citations: A table of contents shows the reader of a document what to expect. The keyboard combination "Alt" + "S" makes it easier to insert a table of contents and other references in the text.

Shortcut 7/10

Open the References tab to add a table of contents, footnotes, or a table of citations

8 Turn track changes on or off: The keyboard shortcut "Alt" + "Shift" + "E" helps the process of understanding what changes or additions have been made when your colleagues or boss review your draft project. The same keyboard combination switches track changes back off again.

Shortcut 8/10

Turn track changes on or off

9 Insert a comment (in the Revision task pane): Sometimes track changes is just not enough when collaborating on a single document. Comments are the best way of recording longer suggestions or alternative wordings. The combination "Alt" + "R" + "C" is the easiest way of adding a comment.

Shortcut 9/10

Insert a comment

10 Insert a DATE field: What’s the date today? The keyboard combination "Alt" + "Shift" + "D" makes it unnecessary to check the calendar, and automatically adds the current date.

Shortcut 10/10

Insert a DATE field

 Are these too many keyboard shortcuts at once? Our compact  Word shortcuts cheat sheet, is always on hand to help refresh your memory. Simply print it out and stick it to your monitor.

By the way: Our practical cheat sheets to print out are also available for other Microsoft Office programs like  PowerPoint,  OneNote or  Outlook.

Leipzig, 06.10.2016

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