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Keyboard shortcuts in the 2007 Office system

A message box with text about using old 2003 access keys

When you press the keys of a 2003 shortcut, you'll see a message box.

If you are a keyboard shortcut expert and you've been using the menu shortcuts in Microsoft Office for years — the ones that started with ALT — and you know them all by heart, you may be alarmed that the menus and the old shortcuts have gone. Take heart! The new Ribbon and shortcuts may take a little time to learn, but once you know them you'll appreciate the new features.

If you're still unconvinced and you just want your old shortcuts back, then rest assured: Most of them will still work. However, you'll need to know the full shortcut from memory. There are no on-screen reminders of what keys you need to press.

Here's how it works. In the previous version of Office, you pressed ALT, E to open the Edit menu, and then you pressed the underlined letter in a command on the menu. In the 2007 Office system Ribbon programs, when you press ALT and then one of the old menu keys, you won't open a menu. Instead, you'll see a message telling you that you're using an Office 2003 access key and to press ESC to cancel. If you know the key sequence you want, you can just carry on and initiate the command. Otherwise, do as the box says and press ESC to see the Key Tip badges. There's a link to more information about this in the Quick Reference Card.

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