The ribbon toolbar of Microsoft Word contains a seemingly infinite number of useful buttons that execute various commands to help you build your documents. Most, if not all, of these buttons have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them.

You can become much faster and more efficient at building Word documents if you can learn the keyboard shortcuts for some of the most used commands. Keyboard shortcuts can help you quickly make changes in formatting, spacing, creating page breaks, line breaks, and more. Below are some of the top keyboard shortcuts and shortcut keys that will make you more efficient in your everyday use of Microsoft Word.

Text Management Shortcuts

You can use them to move text around in your document to make it make more sense.

  • Ctrl + A – Highlights all text in your Word document
  • Ctrl + F – Opens the dialog box to find a certain word or phrase in the text
  • Ctrl + C – Copies the highlighted text to the clipboard for later use, but leaves the highlighted text where it is
  • Ctrl + X – Cuts the highlighted text from its current position and places it on the clipboard
  • Ctrl + V – Pastes the last piece of text that was put onto the clipboard by either a cut or copy command into the current cursor position of the document

Text Manipulation Shortcuts

  • Ctrl+B – Makes the currently highlighted text bold
  • Ctrl+U – Underlines the currently highlighted text
  • Ctrl+Shift+D – Applies double underline formatting to the selected text
  • Ctrl+I – Makes the currently highlighted text italic
  • Ctrl+E – Align the selected text in the center
  • Ctrl+Y – Redo the last action
  • Ctrl+Z – Undo the last action
  • Ctrl+Backspace – Deletes one word to the left of the cursor
  • Ctrl+Delete – Deletes one word to the right of the cursor
  • Ctrl+Shift+L- Creates a bullet point
  • Ctrl+Shift+F – Changes the font
  • Ctrl+M – Increase the indent in a paragraph
  • Ctrl+D – Show the font dialog box
  • Ctrl+K – Opens the dialog box to insert a hyperlink
  • Ctrl+Shift+< – Decreases font size of selected text by 1pt (or 2pts is the selected text font size is above 12)
  • Ctrl+Shift+> – Increases the font size of selected text by 1pt (or 2pts is the selected text font size is above 12)
  • Ctrl+Shift+* – View/hide non printing characters

Quick Saving

Ctrl + S and Shift + F12 are both shortcuts that will save the current document so you don’t have to interrupt your train of thought to go find the save button on the toolbar. Quickly save at your convenience.

Opening and Closing Files

There are even file shortcuts that you can use to create or open files when you open Word.

  • Ctrl + N – Opens a new blank document
  • Ctrl + W – Closes the current document
  • Ctrl + O – Opens the file dialog box so that you can select a previously saved file to open


Ctrl + P will open the print window so that you can change print settings and preview how your document will look when it’s printed and then print your document.

Document Navigation

Some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Word are the ones that let you quickly move around your document without having to take your hands off of the keyboard and manipulate the mouse.

  • Ctrl + Left Arrow – Move one word to the left
  • Ctrl + Right Arrow – Move one word to the right
  • Ctrl + Up Arrow – Moves to the beginning of the line or paragraph
  • Ctrl + Down Arrow – Moves to the end of a paragraph or line
  • Ctrl + Home – Moves to the very beginning of the document
  • Ctrl + End – Moves to the very end of the document
  • Ctrl+Alt+Page down – Moves your cursor to the bottom of the screen
  • Ctrl+Alt+Page up – Moves your cursor to the top of the screen

Matching Formatting

Ctrl + Spacebar is very useful if you have pasted text into a document that came from another document that used a different font. If you want the text to have the same font as your document, just highlight the text and hit Ctrl + Spacebar to default it to your font selection.

Date and Time

Sometimes in the course of creating your document you wish to insert the current date and/or time. That’s where Shift + Alt + D and Shift + Alt + T can be useful. Simply hold down the Shift and Alt buttons at the same time and then press the D key to insert the date or the T key to insert the current time.

Spelling and Grammar

To finish up your document, you will always want to hit the F7 key. This will bring up the spelling and grammar check window. That’s just what I did a few seconds ago to correct all of my spelling and grammar errors before I finished up this document and used the Shift + S shortcut to save it.

If you’d like to learn more about keyboard shortcuts for MS Word, contact ONLC today and discover the many courses offered for Microsoft programs and certifications.

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