Did You Know…MS Word Tips & Shortcuts

by | Nov 1, 2012 | Uncategorized

Task: You’ve created dozens, maybe even hundreds, of Word documents. But are you being as efficient as you could be?

Solution:  Review a list of time-saving techniques to help you work faster, and more effectively.

How:  We’ve done our homework – researching sites and asking some Word power users – to find keyboard shortcuts and other tips to make using Word more productive.   Please note some of the tips might be slightly different for earlier versions of Word.  We’ve also provided links to some of our favorite online training resources if you feel inspired to learn more.

Open Word (Really Fast):  Windows key+R then type “Winword”

Use Templates:  Templates can really be helpful for upgrading the professionalism of client or customer facing documents quickly and easily.  Spend a few minutes surfing through what Microsoft has to offer.  The list is pretty extensive.  To find these templates, after you open Word go to File, New, Sample Templates.    

Go to Beginning or Ending: Hit Ctrl+Home or Ctrl+End to go to the beginning or end of a document.

Select Text

  • A word – Double click on the word
  • A sentence – Hold down the Control and click with the mouse
  • A paragraph – Triple click anywhere in the paragraph
  • A whole document –  Hit Ctrl+A.

Copy:  Control+C

Cut:  Control+X

Paste:  Control+V

Save:  Control+S 

Close a document:  Control+W

Print:  Control+P

Paste Your Formats: If you want to apply your formatting and styles for a given paragraph or document to a new paragraph or document, hit Ctrl+Shift+C to copy, select the text you want to apply the formatting to, then hit Ctrl+Shift+V. Colors, fonts, styles and all other formatting will be applied.

Format Text:  Use keystroke shortcuts to format your text, including Control+B (bold), Control+I (italicize) or Control+U (underline).  Control+E will center, Control+J will justify text left to right and Control+R will right align.

Undo an Action:  Control+Z.  Helpful when you accidentally delete a sentence, or change your mind on formatting or other changes.

Redo an  Action:  Control+Y.  Undoes the undo.  Upon re-reading, you realize you really did want to delete that sentence.

Convert a List into a Table: Highlight the text then go to the “Insert” menu bar and select Table, picking the “Convert Text to Table” option from the drop down menu under Table.

Zoom In:  Hit Control and scroll with the mouse to zoom in or out

Find and Replace:  Highlight the text your want to replace, then click on Replace on the Home tab (or Control+H), then type in the new word.  Select Replace All to replace all instances of that word in the document.

Get Rid of Red and Green Squiggly Lines:  If you don’t want to see Word put red squiggly lines under words that aren’t in its dictionary, and you don’t want green squiggly lines under phrases that don’t match Word’s grammatical rules, use File, Options, Proofing, and clear the checkbox next to “Check spelling as you type” (that gets rid of the red squiggly lines) and “Mark grammar errors as you type” (that gets rid of the green ones). You’ll now need to get into the habit of starting a spell check by pressing F7 or going to the Review tab and clicking Spelling & Grammar. If you don’t want Word to check grammar while it checks spelling, clear the checkbox in the Proofing menu next to (you guessed it) “Check grammar with spelling.”

Export to a PDF:  Anytime you send a document to another person for review (versus editing), saving as a pdf can ensure that the formatting stays as you intended it, and won’t get messed up by their viewing it on a Mac or with a different version of Word.  Simply select Save As and pick PDF from the dropdown menu.

Additional Resources:


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John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.


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