Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Shortcuts for Word

Shortcuts save time and effort. By using keyboard shortcuts when I’m writing (I should say typing) I almost make up for the fact that I never learned to type properly — I do not ‘touch type’; I use a hunt-and-peck style all my own. My bizarre “style” allows me to type at about 35 words-per-minute (when I’m really cooking), and I have to look at the keyboard too frequently.. but I make it work.
I envy those of you who can zap out 60+ wpm without ever looking at your fingers.

Tip of the day: Use Word shortcuts to be a faster typist. In spite of my typing handicap, I manage to produce my documents quite quickly, and I do so by making extensive use of keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are key combinations that replace using menus or your mouse to do commands or actions. (It is a symbol of Geek skill to go as long as possible without touching your mouse.)

It has been years since I have used my mouse to open the “Edit” menu and clicked on the “Copy” option. I always use Ctrl+C, which I learned in Word but is a universal shortcut (it works in [almost] every program). “Ctrl+C” is the same thing as Edit >Copy — and “Ctrl+V” equals “Edit >Paste”. A lesser known/used Edit is “Ctrl+X” (“Cut”) which combined with Ctrl+V allows me to ‘snip’ a sentence out of its current position and paste it in another.
And Ctrl+P and “Enter” (the “Print” command) saves me several mouse clicks when my document is finished. These are probably the most common and well-known shortcuts, and are “universal”.
And don’t forget to Ctrl+S (“Save”) your work as you go along.

[Note to Mac users:substitute the “Apple” key for “Ctrl”.]

Basic edits:
Ctrl+C = Copy | Ctrl+X = Cut | Ctrl+V = Paste

Advanced edits:
Ctrl+I = Italics | Ctrl+U = Underscore | Ctrl+B = Bold | Ctrl+L = align, Left | Ctrl+E = align, Center {“C” is already taken for the Copy command} | Ctrl+R = align, Right | Ctrl+J = align, Justify.
Less frequently used are: Ctrl+1 = single space | Ctrl+2 = double space |Ctrl+5 = 1.5 space,
and rarer still, Ctrl+W = double underscore | Ctrl+T = hanging Indent | Ctrl+Shift+W = underscores words, but not spaces

Selecting text: Of course, before you can Copy, or Cut text in your document, you must ‘select’ (“highlight”) it. You do not need to use a mouse to do this, and often a mouse is not the best tool for the job anyway. The selecting shortcut I use most often is “Ctrl+A”, the “Select all” command.

The keyboard method for moving your cursor is to use the arrow keys. Normally the arrow key will move you one ‘space’, or character, (left, right) or one ‘line’ (up, down). This is fine and dandy for fine-tuning selections, but more realistically, you’ll want to select whole words, sentences, or paragraphs and doing it a space at a time is no time-saver! Again, it is the Ctrl key to the rescue.

Moving the cursor:
Ctrl+left arrow = move to beginning of the word (cursor jumps left) | Ctrl+rt. arrow = move to end of word (moves to the right) | Ctrl+up arrow = move to beginning of the paragraph | Ctrl+down arrow = …well, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now… | Ctrl+Home = jump to beginning of document | Ctrl+End = jump to last word entered

I use these a lot:
Ctrl+Backspace = delete last word (left) | Ctrl+Del = delete next word (right) | Ctrl+Z = undo last action

To select sections of text, simply add the “Shift” key to shortcuts above. Ctrl+Shift+left arrow will select the word you just typed, for example.

That’s enough for today. If you would like to see a more complete listing of Word shortcuts, click on the “Help” menu and enter the word “shortcuts”. You will find many, many more. With a little practice, you will soon be using these shortcuts as second nature, and saving yourself a lot of wasted motion in the process.

Today’s free link: If you would like to have your own website — for a small side-business, or you’re just getting started — and you’re on a limited budget, the free Microsoft Office Live Basic is, IMHO, your best bet (It does not put ads on your site, for one thing). Templates make it easy for folks with no previous experience to get up and running.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 9, 2008 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, how to, keyboards and mice, MS Word, PC, Windows, word processors | , , , | Leave a comment