Microsoft Word Tips & Shortcuts

Microsoft Word has become synonymous with text documents and almost all of us will work with it in some capacity throughout the workday. So, we decided to share some shortcuts, tips and tricks you can use to increase your efficiency when working with the software.

Keyboard shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts below will save you plenty of time. For a full list of keyboard shortcuts, go to Microsoft's Keyboard Shortcuts in Word page. 

Microsoft Word shortcuts
Action Shortcut
Open document Ctrl+O
Create new document Ctrl+N
Save document Ctrl+S
Close document Ctrl+W
Cut selected content to clipboard Ctrl+X
Copy selected content to clipboard Ctrl+C
Paste contents of clipboard Ctrl+V
Select all document content Ctrl+A
Apply bold formatting to text Ctrl+B
Apply italic formatting to text Ctrl+I
Apply underline formatting to text Ctrl+U
Decrease font size by 1 point Ctrl+[
Increase font size by 1 point Ctrl+]
Center text Ctrl+E
Align text to the left Ctrl+L
Align text to the right Ctrl+R
Cancel a command Esc
Undo previous action Ctrl+Z
Redo previous action, if possible Ctrl+Y

Collaborate with Word 2016 & Microsoft 365

As long as you are a Microsoft 365 licensed user and have Word 2016 or newer, you can collaborate in real-time with your colleagues.

When someone shares a Word document with you, the email you receive includes a link that opens the document in your web browser in Word for the web.

Select Edit in Browser to edit in Word for the web. From here, if you'd rather work in your Word app, switch from Editing to Open in Desktop App, near the top of the window.

Check out Microsoft's Collaborate in Word tutorial for 5 exercises that walk you through the steps to work with others in Word. This page includes tips for sharing with yourself so you can see how it works.

How to set default font

To use your favorite font in Word all the time, set it as the default.

  1. Open a Word document.
  2. Go to the Home tab and select the Font Dialog. Box Launcher Button. Or select Ctrl+D. See the screen capture below. 
    Microsoft Word font dialog box launcher
  3. Select the font and size.
  4. Select the Set As Default button.
    A popup window will appear. 
  5. Select one of the following: This document only or All documents based on the Normal template.
  6. Select OK twice.

Find & replace

  1. Go to Home > Replace or press Ctrl+H. A popup box will appear like the one pictured below. MS Word find and replace
  2. Enter the word or phrase you want to locate in the Find what box.
  3. Enter the replacement text in the Replace with box.
  4. Select Find Next until you come to the word you want to update.
  5. Choose Replace. To update all instances at once, choose Replace All.

Note: To specify only upper or lowercase in your search, select More > Match case.

Convert text to hyperlink 

  1. Highlight the text you would like to be a hyperlink.
  2. Right-click on the text and select the word Link (it may say Hyperlink, depending on your version of Word) -- see screen capture below.
    Microsoft Word Tips & Shortcuts - Detroit IT Blog: Business IT Support & Network Services | AM Data Service - ms-word-hyperlink
  3. After you select the word Link (or Hyperlink) from the dropdown, you will see the popup pictured in the screen capture below. Microsoft Word insert hyperlink
  4. In the Address section of the pop-up, enter the URL of the website destination.  
  5. Click OK.

The text will be updated as a hyperlink.

Note: This functionality also exists in your Microsoft Outlook email client.

How to embed a bookmark

When you embed a bookmark, you are linking to another location within the same document.

1. Mark the hyperlink destination with a bookmark or a heading style.

2. Select text or an item. Or click where you want to insert a bookmark.

3. Go to Insert > Bookmark. See screen capture below. 

Microsoft Word bookmark

The Bookmark popup will appear. 

4. Under Bookmark name, type a name. See screen capture below. 

Microsoft Word add bookmark

5. Click the Add button.

Note: Bookmark names must begin with a letter. They can include both numbers and letters but not spaces. If you need to separate words, you can use an underscore ( _ ). For example, First_heading.

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