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.

Fingers on keyboard near clock

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.

Microsoft Word document with two shortcut menus displayed

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.

Office 2010 Ribbon with KeyTips displayed

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:



In Microsoft Office 2007:


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

Open Help

Press F1.

Select all content in a document, window, or text box

Press Ctrl+A.

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

Press Ctrl+Z.

Redo an action

Press Ctrl+Y.

Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker

Press F7.

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.

Quit program

Press Alt+F4.

Working with Microsoft Word


Use this shortcut

Select text

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

Press Ctrl+C.

Cut selected text

Press Ctrl+X.

Paste selected text

Press Ctrl+V.

Bold text

Press Ctrl+B.

Search for text in a document

Press Ctrl+F.

Find and replace text in a document

Press Ctrl+H.

Got to a page, line, or bookmark in a document

Press Ctrl+G.

Italicize text

Press Ctrl+I.

Underline text

Press Ctrl+U.

Subscript text

Press Ctrl+equal sign (=).

Superscript text

Press Ctrl+plus sign (+).

Center text

Press Ctrl+E.

Align text left

Press Ctrl+L.

Align text right

Press Ctrl+R.

Justify text

Press Ctrl+J.

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

Press Ctrl+Enter.

Create a new document

Press Ctrl+N.

Open the My Documents window

Press Ctrl+O.

Close a document

Press Ctrl+W.

Save a document

Press Ctrl+S.

Print a document

Press CTRL+P.

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

Press Ctrl+N.

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

Press Backspace.

Insert a return within a cell

Press Alt+Enter.

Return to the beginning of the row

Press HOME.

Advance to the next worksheet

Ctrl+Page Down

Go to the previous worksheet

Ctrl+Page Up

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

Press Ctrl+1.

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

Press Ctrl+9.

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

1.      Go to the site.

2.      Press Ctrl+D to add to your Favorites.

3.      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

1.      Go to the webpage that you would like to make your home page.

2.      Open the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.

3.      Under Home page, on the General tab, click Use Current.

Use the History function if you visit a few select sites constantly

1.      Press Ctrl+H to open the History pane.

2.      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

1.      Right-click the command bar.

2.      Point to Customize.

3.      Click Add or Remove Commands.

Go to your home page

Press Alt+Home.

Switch between tabs

Press Ctrl+Tab.

Move forward through the items on a webpage or the Address bar

Press Tab.

Move back through the items on a webpage or the Address bar

Press Shift+Tab.

Find on this page

Press Ctrl+F.

Stop downloading a page

Press Esc.

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.