Microsoft Word Shortcuts: 8 Tips Every Admin Should Know

By Robert Half March 26, 2014 at 7:00am

If you work in an office setting, chances are you use Microsoft Word. Mastering the basics of the program may seem easy, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. In fact, a multitude of Microsoft Word shortcuts are available that will save you time if you know how to use them.

The following simple tricks will help you create, navigate and edit docs more efficiently on your device, and they should work for anyone with recent versions of Microsoft Word. Note that many, but not all, of these Microsoft Word shortcuts can be performed on a Mac using Word for Mac by substituting the Command key for the Ctrl key.

Use formatting shortcuts

1. Change case
Change text from lower case to CAPS and back, or flip a phrase into title case (capitalizing the first letter of each word) using Shift+F3.

2. Switch up line spacing
Ctrl+1 changes existing spacing in a paragraph (or entire doc, if you highlight it) to single-line, Ctrl+2 changes it to double-line and Ctrl+5 changes it to 1.5-line spacing.

3. Add bold or italics
Bold selected text with Ctrl+b or italicize with Ctrl+i.

4. Center or align text
Use Ctrl+e to center selected text. Ctrl+l aligns it to the left, and Ctrl+r aligns it to the right.

5. Remove formatting
Click the word or select the text you want to un-format and hit Ctrl+space. If character and paragraph formatting have been applied with a style, Ctrl+shift+n will switch it back to the normal style.

Navigate your documents quickly

6. Seek, find and replace
Ctrl+f opens a search bar so you can find a word or phrase. Ctrl+h lets you replace text and specific formatting.

7. Create a new document
To open a blank document while keeping another open, use Ctrl+n.

8. Highlight to your heart’s content
•  Double-click anywhere in a word to highlight it.
•  Hold down Ctrl and click once to highlight any sentence.
•  Highlight a whole paragraph by triple clicking the blank space to the left of the desired paragraph or by triple clicking within the paragraph.
•  Highlight all the contents of the page by hitting Ctrl+a.

Word up!

Whether you’re aiming to become a Word expert or simply looking to brush up your admin skills, these Microsoft Word shortcuts should help you save a little time without causing any major headaches in the process.

To delve deeper into these Word secrets, and many more, check out Microsoft’s free online tutorials, webinars and training videos.

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