Save time with computer shortcuts in Microsoft Office programs
If you’re like most people, you’re always looking for ways to save time, even when using Microsoft Office software. Keyboard shortcuts could be your new best friend when it comes to time management.
Not everyone uses shortcut keys to save time, but some people find them easier to use than a mouse, especially when spending long stretches of time at the computer.
Ready-made Microsoft Office tools
If the thought of memorizing key combinations makes you wince, you can still save time and effort while working in all Office programs by using these built-in tools.
Shortcut menus. Right-click in any Microsoft Office program to display a shortcut menu that gives you quick access to many of the most commonly used features. If an arrow appears next to your selection, you can click to see more options. For example, right-clicking a Word document displays Paste Options, Look Up, Synonyms, formatting, and other options.
No matter which Microsoft Office program you’re working in, right-clicking is one of the greatest shortcuts available.
KeyTips. Introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, KeyTips are built-in keyboard shortcuts available in all programs that have the Ribbon or the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar. In Office 2010, KeyTips are also available in the Backstage view. Press Alt to display a letter or number by each Ribbon tab or Quick Access Toolbar command. After you press a letter or number, you get new KeyTips letters and numbers to access each command in the location you selected.
Pressing Alt displays KeyTips that you can press to quickly access any command.
Quick Access Toolbar. Add the commands you use all the time to your Quick Access Toolbar in all Office programs that have the Ribbon. Just right-click almost any Ribbon command, and then click Add to Quick Access Toolbar. This is also a great way to create custom keyboard shortcuts for your favorite commands across all Office programs, since the KeyTips for your Quick Access Toolbar items remain the same as long as the command remains in the same position in the Quick Access Toolbar.
Custom keyboard shortcuts on the Office Ribbon. You can even change shortcut key combinations or create new ones of your own. Here’s how to do it in the latest versions of Microsoft Office.
In Microsoft Office 2010:
Click the File tab to open Backstage view, and then click Options.
Click Customize Ribbon and then, next to the Keyboard Shortcuts heading, click Customize. You can enter the new key combination here. You can revert to the default key combinations for specific tabs (or for all customizations) by clicking Reset.
In Microsoft Office 2007:
Click the Office button , and then, in the lower-right section, click Word Options.
In the list, select Customize.
In the Customize dialog box, click the Keyboard shortcuts: Customize button.
In the Categories listing, select the tab containing the command you want to change.
In the Commands list, select the command with the keystroke combination you want to change or create. If a default keystroke combination exists, it appears in the box under "Current keys."
In the Press new shortcut key box, enter the new keystroke combination.
Whether you want to work more easily and efficiently in Internet Explorer, streamline your Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 experience, or key international characters into your email messages to Europe, you’ll find lots of shortcuts to help you. Here is a sampling of commonly used standard-keyboard shortcuts, many of which work across all Office programs—from Outlook to Access and from Visio to PowerPoint. You can find a more complete list of built-in keyboard shortcuts for a particular application by searching keyboard shortcuts in Help.
General keyboard shortcuts
Use this shortcut
Select all content in a document, window, or text box
Search for a file or folder
Press F3. In Windows 7, you can also press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu and then type in the Search box.
Rename a file or folder
Select the file or folder, press F2, and then retype the name.
Find out when the file or folder was created, by whom, and how big it is
Select the file, and then press Alt+Enter.
Display the Start menu
Press Ctrl+Esc. In Windows 7, you can also press the Windows logo key.
Scroll between open windows
Press Alt+Tab, and then hold down Alt while pressing Tab to reach the desired file or program.
Undo an action
Redo an action
Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker
Create a shortcut on your desktop to your favorite file or folder
In Windows 7: Right-click the file or folder. On the shortcut menu, click Send to, and then click Desktop (Create shortcut).
In Windows Vista: Right-click the file or folder. On the shortcut menu, click Create Shortcut. Drag the new shortcut to your desktop.
Capture a screen shot
Press Alt+Print Screen, and then press Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.
Lock the computer, switch users, log off the computer, change a password, start Task Manager
In Windows 7, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
Lock the computer
Press the Windows logo key+L.
Working with Microsoft Word
Use this shortcut
Press Shift+Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down Arrow to highlight text. To select one word at a time, press Shift+Ctrl+Arrow. To select to the end of the line, press Shift+End.
Copy selected text
Cut selected text
Paste selected text
Search for text in a document
Find and replace text in a document
Got to a page, line, or bookmark in a document
Press Ctrl+equal sign (=).
Press Ctrl+plus sign (+).
Align text left
Align text right
Decrease the font size
Press Ctrl+Shift+less than sign (<). If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll down.
Increase the font size
Press Ctrl+Shift+greater than sign (>). If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll up.
Change the font
Press CTRL+SHIFT+F, and then use the arrow keys to reach the new font.
Change font size
Press Ctrl+Shift+P, and then use the arrow keys to reach the new font size. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll up or down.
Create a page break
Create a new document
Open the My Documents window
Close a document
Save a document
Print a document
Preview what you're about to print
Press ALT+Ctrl+I. In Windows 7, this keyboard shortcut opens the integrated Print and Preview window, which you can also access by pressing Ctrl+P.
Resize a shape (Office 2010)
Select the shape, and then press Shift+Arrow.
Rotate a shape (Office 2010)
Select the shape, and then hold the Alt key while you press the Left Arrow key or the Right Arrow key.
Accelerating Microsoft Excel
Use this shortcut
Open a new workbook
Move left to right, cell by cell
Press Tab, or press the Right Arrow key.
Move right to left, cell by cell
Press Shift+Tab, or press the Left Arrow key.
Move down, cell by cell
Press Enter, or press the Down Arrow key.
Move up, cell by cell
Press Shift+Enter, or press the Up Arrow key.
Move down or up to the last empty or non-empty cell
Press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow or Up Arrow.
Move to the last empty or non-empty cell to the right or left
Press Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow or Left Arrow.
Erase data in the current cell
Insert a return within a cell
Return to the beginning of the row
Advance to the next worksheet
Go to the previous worksheet
Enter the date
Press Ctrl+Semicolon (;).
Enter the time
Press Ctrl+Shift+Colon (:).
Find out about the style within the cell
Press Alt+Apostrophe (‘).
Display the Format Cells dialog box
Apply the general number format
Press Ctrl+Shift+Tilde (~).
Apply the currency number format
Press Ctrl+Shift+Dollar Sign ($).
Apply the percentage number format
Press Ctrl+Shift+Percent (%).
Apply a border
Press Ctrl+Shift+Ampersand (&).
Remove a border
Press Ctrl+Shift+ underscore (_).
Hide the selected columns
Press Ctrl+0 (zero).
Hide the selected rows
Unhide hidden rows within a selection
Press Ctrl+Shift+opening parenthesis.
Find more Excel keyboard shortcuts at the MSDN blog.
Expediting Internet Explorer
Use this shortcut
Add sites to your Favorites
Go to the site.
Press Ctrl+D to add to your Favorites.
Click Favorites, and then, to create a separate folder for the site or to add it to an already-formed list, click Add to Favorites.
Select a home page
Go to the webpage that you would like to make your home page.
Open the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.
Under Home page, on the General tab, click Use Current.
Use the History function if you visit a few select sites constantly
Press Ctrl+H to open the History pane.
Select the site that you would like, right-click the site, and then select Add to Favorites.
Customize your toolbar to the tools you use most frequently
Right-click the command bar.
Point to Customize.
Click Add or Remove Commands.
Go to your home page
Switch between tabs
Move forward through the items on a webpage or the Address bar
Move back through the items on a webpage or the Address bar
Find on this page
Stop downloading a page
Use zoom on a webpage
Increase zoom (+ 10%): Press Ctrl+plus sign (+).
Decrease zoom (- 10%): Press Ctrl+minus sign (-).
Increase to 100%: Press Ctrl+0.
Find more Internet Explorer 8 keyboard shortcuts.
For Outlook keyboard shortcuts, read the Outlook team blog.
Shortcuts aren’t limited to Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer, of course. Ample time savers are built into many popular Microsoft programs, including Access, Visio, and PowerPoint. For Outlook keyboard shortcuts, read the Outlook team blog.
Another convenient way to save time is to add Office.com and Microsoft Answers to your Favorites in Internet Explorer, so you’ll always have ready help nearby.
The more you use these tools and make Microsoft work for you, the more time you can save. Have fun exploring the options available to you!
Adapted from an article written by Liz Eustace based upon an original piece from Microsoft Home Magazine.
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