Tech – for Everyone

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

Keyboard shortcuts for Word (repost)

Today is simply turning in to one of those days and demands on my time require that I re-post a prior article. This article describes some time-saving shortcuts that can make working with your word processor go more quickly and easily–

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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March 31, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Word, PC, tech, word processors | , , ,


  1. Hello there!!! Sorry for disturbing but i have a keyboard problem that is driving me crazy. When i am typing a normal text, either on Word or email, doesn’t really matter, the cursor goes back to some place where I’ve had written already and start writing from there… so i have to stop, erase what was wrongly written in between some word, put the cursor back from where it had jumped and continue my work. But this happens all the time. Anybody has a clue on how to fix this? Thank you a lot!


    Comment by Alex S. | June 6, 2013 | Reply

    • Alex S.,
      I most frequently get this question from laptop owners, and the answer usually is that they are resting their wrists on, or otherwise ‘brushing’, the touchpad while they type. (And.. it can be a symptom of malware infection as well..) For those folks, the best solution is (frequently) to disable (turn off) the touchpad and plug in a mouse.

      If you don’t have a laptop, you might try uninstalling the mouse in Device Manager, then plug it in again and reboot.
      (And, put new batteries in wireless mice.)

      Or you might download a small utility which “parks” the cursor out of the way while you type. You can get that here.


      Comment by techpaul | June 6, 2013 | Reply

      • Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your time! I will try them all and see which one works best!!! Thanks again and wish you a great day!!! My Best… Alex :))


        Comment by Alex S. | June 6, 2013 | Reply

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