Editor's Note: These tips are excerpted (with permission) from Dian
Chapman's Word Tips ebook, which is available as a free download from
Word's Repeat Key
Did you know that there is a keystroke in Word that allows you to repeat your last action over and over again? The repeat key is F4.
Say you just applied some formatting that took several clicks through dialogs to set. Now you need to apply this same formatting to one or more other areas in your document. Rather than highlighting other text and going through all those dialog clicks again, just hit the F4 key and that previous effort will be reapplied again.
Note! The Repeat key will only apply your last complete action. Keep this in mind. If you need to apply both Paragraph and Font formatting, only the Font formatting (last dialog action) will be repeated.
If you need to copy more detailed formatting, you can use the Format Painter tool to copy all formatting and reapply it to other text.
But the F4 key will also retype the text you just typed if you need to duplicate information. And it's great for repeating special border or shading formatting to table cells.
If you are typing away with text formatted with bullets or numbers and you want to break the paragraph, if you hit Enter, you'll get a new paragraph with a bullet or number. To add a new paragraph formatted as part of the same bullet or number, hit Shift+Enter.
Quick Case Conversion
If you need to convert the case of text, rather than selecting a character or word, deleting it, and then retyping it in the correct case, once it's selected, just hit Shift+F3 to swap the case.
Holding down Shift and tapping on the F3 key will convert text from TitleCase, to UpperCase, to LowerCase.
Say you notice that you accidentally typed a whole paragraph with the cap lock turned on. Triple click to select the paragraph. Then hit Shift+F3 once to switch it all to lowercase. A second Shift+F3 on the selected text will turn it to TitleCase, thereby changing all the first letters in each sentence to capitals. Saving you time from retyping.
Cents and Accents
Need to add a quick cents sign in your Word doc? Hit Ctrl+/ (slash)+C and the cents symbol will be inserted. Need to add a quick accent mark to a character? Hit Ctrl +' (apostrophe) and type the character that needs the accent mark. The letter will now have an accent mark. To get the reverse accent mark, use Ctrl +` (the key to the left of the # 1 alpha numeric key), and type the letter you need.
Quick Font Change
To quickly change a font size, just select the text (or set the font before you begin typing) and hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys together and tap on either the greater than or less than keys to set the font size larger or smaller! Each tap will increase/decrease the font size by a percentage.
Sometimes you need to keep certain words together. For instance, it's typographically incorrect to have a person's middle initial break before it. In other words, this is wrong...
But, this is a correct name break...
So how do you make sure that a name breaks at the correct spot when wrapping a line?
Use a non-breaking space. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys together and hit the Spacebar to create a non-breaking space.
You can verify that you do have a non-breaking space inserted by clicking on your Show/Hide button (looks like a backward, capital P on your Formatting Toolbar) or use the shortcut key combo by hitting Ctrl+Shift+8 to see all the hidden formatting.
You'll notice a tiny, superscript circle which represents your non-breaking space. (It looks like a degree symbol.)
Add Space Before
Hit Ctrl+0 (zero) to add space before a paragraph. Ctrl+0 is the "add space before" shortcut toggle key. It adds 6pts of spacing before a paragraph.
After you add space, while the cursor is still in the paragraph, hit Ctrl+0 again and you'll see the spacing disappear for that paragraph.
Say you're working on a document and you notice some text in another location in the doc that you need to modify before you forget. You click in the new location and make the necessary changes. Now you need to jump back to the location where you were working before you moved.
Rather than hunting to find the right spot, just hit Shift+F5 and your cursor will jump back to the location where you were before you moved to where you are now! If you need to move back further, keep hitting Shift+F5 to continue to relocate.