Tech Tricks to Being a Better Student: Microsoft Office Shortcuts

In this edition of tech tricks to being a better student, we discuss shortcuts in Microsoft Office. These tricks will help you move at a much quicker pace while you're working, so you can stay 'in the groove.' Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

shortcuts microsoft word microsoft office keyboard shortcuts

How Will This Help?

If you're the type who doesn't like to break focus once you get 'in the zone,' these keyboard shortcuts might be useful to you. They allow you to keep your focus on the document without having to reach for the mouse and click on menus or icons. If memorizing the shortcuts is going to be an issue, you can always print them out and attach them to your computer. You'll memorize them eventually, and the time-saving, focus-preserving effect will be welcome. As an added bonus, most of these shortcuts can be used elsewhere on the computer, including many Internet browsers.

This list of shortcut commands is officially connected to Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows. However, most of the commands apply in other versions of Office, including those for Mac. Give them a try - you might end up saving yourself some valuable time while completing assignments.

The Commands

A little orientation to the commands: CTRL refers to the control key, and unless specified, these commands require you to press the listed keys simultaneously. For many of the commands, Mac users can replace CTRL with the command key. There are, of course, many more key commands than those listed here. This list is curated to focus on the commands that are most commonly used for academic purposes, like writing research papers.

Function Key Combination FunctionKey Combination
Paste CTRL V Open the word count dialog box CTRL SHIFT G
Bold font CTRL B Italic font CTRL I
Underline font CTRL U Change font CTRL SHIFT F
Single spacing CTRL 1 Double spacing CTRL 2
1.5 spacing CTRL 5 Add footnote ALT CTRL F
Add endnote ALT CTRL D Add entry to table of contents ALT SHIFT O
Move one paragraph up CTRL Up Arrow Move one paragraph down CTRL Down Arrow
Left align paragraph CTRL L Remove paragraph formatting CTRL SPACEBAR
Move cursor one word to the right CTRL Right Arrow Move cursor one word to the left CTRL Left Arrow
An em dash ALT CTRL Minus Sign An en dash CTRL Minus Sign
Add line break SHIFT ENTER Add page break CTRL ENTER
Delete one word to the left CTRL Backspace Delete one word to the right CTRL Delete
Create new document CTRL N Save document CTRL S
Print document CTRL P

This is the second article of a series in which the Education Techie will share some tips with students. Previously, the Techie talked about effective searching. Stay tuned for more tips this week!

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