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Work with the keyboard

CTRL+I changes normal font to italic in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, and Outlook

CTRL+I changes font style to italic. This shortcut works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, and Outlook.

Although earlier lessons have shown you how to use the menu bar and toolbars with the keyboard, there is a much quicker way of accomplishing some actions: keyboard shortcuts. A keyboard shortcut—also referred to as a shortcut key, or a shortcut—is a specific key or sequence of keys that completes an action.

Read on to learn more about specific keyboard shortcuts. When you've finished, click the Next button to continue the lesson on your own.

Using keyboard shortcuts is the best practice for carrying out common actions, but you do have to know the exact keystroke combination for each action. This method, however, does have some limits, and you can't achieve everything you want by using shortcuts; you will sometimes have to use the menus or toolbars.

Just as each Office program does a different job, the shortcuts in each program are different. But you will find that some actions that are common across Office programs, such as making text italic, have the same shortcut.

This lesson will concentrate on the shortcuts that can be used across most, if not all, Office programs.

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