Essential Microsoft Office Shortcuts

By now, it is likely that over a half a billion people use Office worldwide (according to Microsoft, anyway). Unfortunately, not many people know the plethora of shortcuts that Microsoft makes available either through the application or in general. It simply pains me to think of all the wasted time and mouse-clicks. In this post, I will outline some easy to use shortcuts that will hopefully make your life a bit easier. Please note, these shortcuts are very basic (but essential). If you are looking for something more advanced, I have included the relevant links at the bottom of the post. As always, please feel free to contribute to the list using the comments below!

General

General shortcuts work outside of office (as well as in it). Note, that on a MAC, the shortcuts will be similar, but you replace the CTRL key with the Apple key.

  • Copy – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter c. This shortcut copies whatever text is highlighted.
  • Cut – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter x. This shortcut cuts whatever text is highlighted.
  • Paste – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter v. This shortcut pastes whatever you recently copied or cut.
  • Select All – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter a. This shortcut selects all of the text in the window. Commonly used with shortcuts Copy and Cut above.
  • Undo – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter z. This shortcut undoes the last action and can be used more than once. For example, if you use Undo twice, it will undo two actions. (Thanks Martin)
  • Redo – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter y. This shortcut cancels an undo and can be used more than once. For example, if you used undo twice, you can use redo twice as well to cancel the undoes.
  • Move Cursor Left or Right by One Word – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the left or right arrow key. This shortcut will move your cursor backwards or forwards by one word. (Thanks Martin)
  • Switch Between Windows (In case you have multiple office windows open) – On your keyboard, hold down ALT  and press the tab key. This shortcut allows you to cycle between documents / windows that you have open.

Office

There are a number of shortcuts that are shared across the office suite.

  • Save – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter s. This shortcut will re-save the file. Very useful if you are concerned about crashes. If the file hasn’t been saved yet,
  • Save As – On your keyboard, press F12. This shortcut will open a save window for you to save the file as a different filename.
  • Print – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter p. This shortcut will open up the print window.
  • Grammar Check – On your keyboard, press F7. This shortcut will start Grammar Check.
  • Find Text – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter f. This shortcut will open a window pane that allows you to search for text in the document.
  • Replace Text – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter h. This shortcut will open a window that allows you to search for text in the document and replace it with something else.
  • Bold or un-bold text – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter b. This shortcut will either add bold or, if the text is already bold, remove the bold effect on a piece of text.
  • Italicize or un-italicize text – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter i. This shortcut will either add italics or, if the text is already italicized, remove the italics effect on a piece of text.
  • Underline or un-underline text – On your keyboard, hold down CTRL  and press the letter u. This shortcut will either add underline or, if the text is already underlined,remove the underline effect on a piece of text.

If you are looking for something more specific, click the relevant link below to open a full list of shortcuts.

If you have any questions, as always, please let me know!

The picture used in this post is (c) Microsoft as are all references to Microsoft Office.

Posted in Legacy.

5 Comments

  1. Also–and this may be handy if you’re writing MLA-style essays:

    CTRL + letter R: Right-align
    CTRL + letter L: Left-align
    CTRL + letter E: Center

  2. I find CTRL + Z: Undo Last Action to be of utmost importance as well :>

    It also pains me to see people hit the left arrow key 137 times to correct a mistake a few words back. CTRL + left arrow/right arrow will take you exactly one word left or right, respectively. The same works with the up and down arrow keys for paragrahps.

  3. Thanks for provided a very essential concept about Microsoft Office! I think it will be helpful for every typist for raising type speed. Thanks for the post.

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