are 10 of our favorite shortcuts, tips, tricks, and timesavers to
supercharge your use of Microsoft Word. (Most of these suggestions work
with all versions of Word, but some are exclusive to newer versions like
Word 2013, 2016, or 2016 for Mac.) Try a few out today and let us know
what works for you…
1. Copy, paste, and cut with keyboard shortcuts.
Ask anyone who knows these shortcuts — Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste, and Ctrl + X to cut —
and they will testify to their critical timesaving nature. Master these
three basic commands first and you’ll find yourself zooming through
document creation at surprising speeds.
2. Quickly zoom in or out to save eye strain.
Some people like to work in a Word window
zoomed in to 150%, while others like to eliminate the need to scroll
left and right or up and down by zooming out to 75% to see a document in
its entirety. Either way, use the Window > Zoom button to choose the setting that works best for you — or look for the “100%” tab with a slider at bottom right of the document to easily zoom in or out.
3. Delete entire words at a time.
This is an easy one you may not know about: instead of slowly pecking at the keyboard to delete text, or holding down Backspace to eliminate words or entire sentences, press Ctrl+Backspace with the cursor placed after a word you want to erase a word at a time, making a tedious task much easier.
4. Use Smart Lookup to search the Internet.
Anytime you highlight a word or phrase and
right-click it, you’ll see “Smart Lookup,” which serves as a quick
shortcut to browse the web — without slowing down to open a separate
browser window. From word definitions to news scans, this powerful tool
can transform a simple question into a wealth of knowledge.
5. Remove unwanted formatting.
Trying to turn a document from an external
source into something that works for you? Strange formatting can slow
you down, so instead of trying to fix one thing at a time, press Ctrl + Space or click the Clear All Formatting button (in newer versions, an eraser on an A on the Home tab) to remove formatting from highlighted text and start fresh with your own style.
6. Tell the program exactly what you want to do.
Most newer versions of Word include a handy
“Tell me what you want to do” field at the top of the toolbar. Insert a
word or phrase pertaining to any instruction and the program can
quickly identify the command you’re looking for.
7. Use multiple clicks to select chunks of copy.
Rather than employing the tedious drag and
highlight method, you can use your mouse to select chunks of copy:
double-click over a word to highlight it or triple-click to highlight an
entire sentence or section.
8. Quickly insert links into a document.
Similar to the copy / paste / cut commands, learning the keyboard shortcut for adding web links to a document — Ctrl + K — will save lots of time and quickly become one of the sharpest tools in your kit.
9. Select the default font you want, not the default font Word wants you to use.
Don’t like Calibri or Cambria? Prefer Arial
to Times New Roman, or like the modern nature of Verdana? The best part
about Microsoft Word is you can choose the default font — this command
differs by version, but the most reliable way is to click Format > Font, select the attributes you want, and then click Default.
10. Find any word you want quickly and easily.
Instead of using your mouse to navigate to the Find command, click Ctrl + F to either open the window in older versions of Word, or move the cursor automatically to the Search in Document menu that always appears in the toolbar in newer versions.
BONUS TIP: Click the drop-down arrow on the Find menu’s magnifying glass and click Replace to automatically replace a certain word or phrase with a different word or phrase you specify.