Microsoft Word Shortcuts and Commands

Adding sources for your research paper
Grace Fleming

There are many shortcuts for common functions in Microsoft Word. These shortcuts or commands can come in handy when typing a report or term paper, or even a letter. It is a good idea to try some of these functions before you actually begin a project. Once you become familiar with the way they work, you may become hooked on shortcuts.

Executing Shortcuts

Before you can use shortcuts commands, it's important to understand a few requirements.

If the shortcut involves a section of text (words you have typed), you will need to highlight the text before typing the command. For instance, to bold a word or words, you must highlight them first.

For other commands, you may only need to place the cursor at a specific place. For instance, if you want to insert a footnote, place the cursor in the relevant position. The commands below are sectioned into groups by alphabetical order to make it easier to find the ones you need.

Bold Through Italics

Boldfacing a word or group of words is one of the handiest shortcut commands in Microsoft Word. Other commands, such as centering text, creating a hanging indent, or even calling for help can be useful shortcuts to know. The latter command—calling for help by pressing the F1 key—brings up a printed helpfile to the right of your document, which even includes its own search function. (The last section of this article contains instructions for the search command.)

Function

 Shortcut

Bold

 CTRL + B

Center a paragraph

 CTRL + E

Copy

 CTRL + C

Create a hanging indent

 CTRL + T

Decrease the font size by 1 point

 CTRL + [

Double-space lines

 CTRL + 2

Hanging Indent

 CTRL + T

Help

 F1

Increase the font size by 1 point

 CTRL + ]

Indent a paragraph from the left

 CTRL + M

Indent

 CTRL + M

Insert a footnote

 ALT + CTRL + F

Insert an endnote

 ALT + CTRL + D

Italic

 CTRL + I 

Justify Through Single-Space Lines

Justifying a paragraph will make it flush left and flush right rather than ragged-right, which is the default in Word. But, you can also left-align a paragraph, create a page break, and even mark a table of contents or index entry, as the shortcut commands in this section show.

Function

 Shortcut

Justify a paragraph

 CTRL + J

Left-align a paragraph

 CTRL + L

Mark a table of contents entry

 ALT + SHIFT + O

Mark an index entry

 ALT + SHIFT + X

Page Break

 CTRL + ENTER

Print

 CTRL + P

Remove a paragraph indent from the left

 CTRL + SHIFT + M

Remove paragraph formatting

 CTRL + Q

Right-align a paragraph

 CTRL + R

Save

 CTRL + S

Search

 CTRL = F

Select All

 CTRL + A

Shrink Font One Point

 CTRL + [

Single-space lines

 CTRL + 1 

Subscripts Through Undo

If you're writing a science paper, you might need to place certain letters or numbers in subscript, such as in H20, the chemical formula for water. The subscript shortcut makes it easy to do this, but you can also create a superscript with a shortcut command. And, if you make a mistake, correcting it is only a CTRL = Z away.

Function

 Shortcut

To type a Subscript

 CTRL + =

To type a Superscript

 CTRL + SHIFT + =

Thesaurus

 SHIFT + F7

Remove Hanging Indent

 CTRL + SHIFT + T

Remove Indent

 CTRL + SHIFT + M

Underline

 CTRL + U

Undo

 CTRL + Z