I’ll state this up front. This post is about Microsoft Word. If you don’t use Word feel free to exit this blog quietly. But please do so in a manner as not to disturb the other readers.
Over the years I’ve used a variety of word processing programs. All have their quirks, strengths, and complex functions that make you want to break your keyboard in half and pound your computer into compost. Don’t worry we not going to get into complex functions. Instead we’re going to go over several handy keyboard shortcuts to increase you editing speed.
For clarity purposes let me explain how I’ll denote these shortcuts. For some of you this may be obvious, but for others I have met, they have only used mouse functions.
Control Key = CTRL, Alt Key = ALT, you get the idea. I use the plus sign ‘+’ to denote combinations. So CTRL+C means to use press and hold the control key then press the C key.
Some of the shortcuts do require mouse interaction so here is an explanation on my terminology.
All mouse clicks will be for the left button unless noted.
Single click = single left click, Double click = two left clicks, again you get the idea.
Click and Hold = push down on the mouse button and hold it.
Why use keyboard short cuts? For me, moving my hand back and forth from keyboard to mouse to keyboard gets a bit annoying. Especially if all you want to do is switch to underlining or italic. Also if you’re trying to select text, clicking and dragging that cursor to select everything can be tedious. So let’s start with some easy ways to select text.
Word makes it easy to select a single word, sentence, paragraph or all the text in the document.
To select a single word, double-click the word.
To select a single sentence, CTRL+Single Click on any part of the sentence.
To select an entire paragraph, triple click the paragraph.
To manually select individual characters, words, sentences, or paragraphs, SHIFT+Arrow Key. Using SHIFT+Down-Arrow is a quick way to select multiple lines within a paragraph.
Once you have your text selected you can right-click on it. A pop up menu will appear providing all kinds of options. Did you know you can click and hold on your selected text and drag it to a new location in the document? This can be handy when moving sentences around in a paragraph or rearranging action sequences in a scene.
When editing, I typically hit CTRL+A, this is the short cut for Select All. It highlights every word in your document. Once all the text selected, I right-click, select Font, and increase the font size to an 18 or 20 point size. This makes it much easier to catch typos that spell check missed, find those pesky punctuation faux pas, and any hapless homophones to — or is that pronounced too? Anyway, after I’m done editing, CTRL+A, right-click, Font, and it’s back to 12 point.
I’ll finish this out with a simple list of shortcuts. If you have any handy tricks for Word, please post a comment.
CTRL+C = Copy
CTRL+X = Cut
CTRL+Z=Undo last change
CTRL+Y=Redo last Undo