This is a trick that can save you many hours of work. It is much faster to press a combination of keys on your keyboard instead of using the mouse to go to the ribbon and to select the command you want to launch. Here are a few of the most common shortcuts that are worth learning and using until they become your second nature.
Ctrl + o: Open File. This shortcut brings the Open File dialog box on your screen. You need to work your way on from here to the file you want to open.
Ctrl + n: New File. This command creates a new file, giving it a default name such as Document1, Document 2 or Document 3, depending on how many untitled documents you have already opened in that session.
Ctrl + s: Save File. This is a much faster alternative to going to File, Save from the main menu. It is a good one, as many users have the habit to save their work quite often, due to bad experiences from their past.
Ctrl + w: Close Document. This command closes and saves the current document.
Ctrl + p: Print Document. This command opens the Print dialog box where you can choose all required settings for printing your document.
If you have very long documents, you could use some shortcuts for navigating through their pages.
Ctrl + Page Down moves you to the beginning of the next page, while Ctrl + Page Up moves you to the previous one. If you press and hold for a little, these commands will take you to the beginning of the whole document, respectively to the beginning of the last page. If you want to write a book in Word, you are going to find these shortcuts very useful, as they enable you to go to the beginning or to the end of the document in a split second. Any other way you’d try to do it would take you longer.
Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End will take you directly to the beginning and to the end of the document, so keep these in mind too, if you need to handle very large documents.
F12 is the keyboard shortcut for Save As. It will save a copy of your current document with a new name which you’ll be prompted to give. If you have the habit of operating a computer, you don’t need any further explanation on this one. If you are a beginner, you should keep in mind that you are the one who is responsible for organizing files on your hard drive, therefore you must know in which folders you want to save your documents so that you can find them later on, when needed.
If you have multiple documents opened in the same time, you may need to browse through them easily. You can use the Windows functions for that, but you are going to be faster if you use Ctrl + F6 to browse through these documents. The command is cyclic. Once you reach the last document, it will take you to the first one again. If you need to bounce backwards through the documents, use Ctrl + Shift + F6.
One of the most interesting keyboard shortcuts is Alt + w. It activates the View tab on the ribbon. From there, you are going to see all shortcut keys revealed on the ribbon, so you can choose the one you need for that moment. If you memorize then, in time you are going to know exactly which key to press for activating a certain function, without having to enable this view. It is amazing how much faster you can apply all types of commands while editing your documents. If speed is important to you, try to spend a little more time in observing all these shortcuts and their roles.
When making edits to a document, you may need to go back to the last edit you’ve made. This could be a tricky thing if you don’t remember where it was. Luckily, there is a shortcut you can use to automatically move the cursor to the last edited position. This shortcut is Alt + Ctrl + z. Applied successively it can take you back for as long as four moves. This should be enough even for those who like editing a lot their work until they can call it final.
If you work on a small screen, you may want to get rid of the ribbon, especially if you aren’t a beginner in Word anymore and you know your keyboard shortcuts. By pressing Ctrl + F1 you can minimize the ribbon in order to gain more screen real estate for the document itself. Whenever you start missing your ribbon, you can bring it back by pressing Ctrl + F1 again. Laptop users will be very happy with this facility, as they usually have very little screen space, even in case of bigger laptops.
There are also several shortcuts for text editing and formatting. They can also help you save time, as many of the commands they enable are used very often. The simplest example is Ctrl + c which is the keyboard shortcut for Copy. It can be applied on a selection of text. Next, the cursor needs to be positioned in the place where the text needs to be inserted. The Paste shortcut is Ctrl + V. These two commands are typical and they work across all Microsoft Office programs, as well as in other software used for editing texts or images. You are going to use them a lot, so they will remain in your long term memory pretty soon, that’s for sure.
What you may not know is that you can also copy-paste formatting only, without the text. By pressing Ctrl + Shift + c and Ctrl + Shift + v you copy and paste the paragraph style. The formatting is transmitted onto the entire paragraph, but the font styles are applied only to the word where the cursor is positioned.
Enter is one of the most popular commands. It produces a new paragraph. It is instinctive, so you don’t need to find out about it from someone else, as you may have already pressed Enter and saw what it did. What you may not know is that if you press Ctrl + Enter you are going to produce a page break. This will be an artificial page break, so you should always check if that page looks good or not. If not, you need to remove the page break and insert it elsewhere or let the text flow naturally.
The Shift + Enter combination of keys produces a line break. This means the text will start on the next line, but without the spacing a paragraph has. This is useful when you want a new line, but the text is continuing the idea from the last sentence.