5 Microsoft Word shortcuts you need to know


A long time ago…

Microsoft Word (Word) is the most popular word processor in the world. I have been using Word and teaching it for about 25 years, cutting my teeth on version 2.0 in 1991. Over the years, I’ve found myself consistently using a few incredibly useful Word shortcuts and keyboard combinations. Not only do these shortcuts make me more productive by speeding up repetitive tasks, they also enhance the end result. This makes for a more professional document put together in less time. And who couldn’t do with just a little more time!

Five best Microsoft Word shortcuts

application-pdfDownload a cheat-sheet containing these best 5 Microsoft Word shortcuts

Here’s the list of my five best Microsoft Word shortcuts and keyboard combinations. A quick side note these shortcuts apply to Windows. I’m guessing you could use the Command key (⌘) on an Apple keyboard instead of CTRL.

TLDR (tl;dr)

Here are 5 keyboard shortcuts to make Microsoft Word work better, they will save you time and make your documents look amazing.

  1. CTRL and SHIFT
  2. CTRL+ALT+1
  3. F7
  4. SHIFT+F3
  5. CTRL+C; CTRL+X and CTRL+V


By themselves, they do nothing but pair them up and then the magic starts to happen. What am I talking about - the SHIFT and CTRL keys. Instead of using the mouse to select text or highlight words, use your “cursor movement keys” (that’s arrow keys for the rest of us) together with CTRL or SHIFT. Try them together – it’s wild.


Styles* add consistency and save time. And I’m all for both, being slightly pedantic and of perfectionist tendencies. But applying styles using the keyboard takes it to another level. CTRL+ALT+1 (or CTRL+ALT+2 or CTRL+ALT+3) allows you to quickly set outlines and apply consistent formatting. That long report just dumped on you in the 5 minutes left before day’s end – done!


Spellcheck fast. Yes, you can use the mouse on every red squiggle but using the spell checker in one go is faster than stopping and starting as you work. And here’s a bonus tip to add to your Word shortcuts – SHIFT+F7 will open the thesaurus.


i BET YOU’VE NEVER DONE THIS – oops. Yup, it happens to the best of us. That darn CAPS LOCK key somehow gets switched on and before you know it, everything’s a mess. Going back and retyping everything is a thing of the past. From now on, simply select the text (see shortcut 1) and press SHIFT+F3. Magic. I told you so.

Cut, Copy, Paste

It was a challenge to pick this last shortcut. Eventually I settled on three. This last trio of shortcuts will save you time, not only in Word but everywhere else. All too often when I’m teaching I see people marching their mouse all over the place to copy and paste. Use the shortcuts! CTRL+C will copy; CTRL+X will cut and CTRL+V will paste.

*Shameless punt

If you want to know more about how to use styles effectively, or maximise any of your experiences with Microsoft Word, please make contact. I have been sharing my knowledge with people from all walks of life for as long as I can remember. If training and learning isn't your thing at the moment, please take a look at what else Tech Warrior does, we'd love to help you too.

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