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Work with the keyboard

The File menu showing the combination of keystrokes for shortcuts

File menu in Word with the keyboard shortcuts indicated.
Callout 1 CTRL+N opens a new document.
Callout 2 CTRL+O opens the Open dialog box.
Callout 3 CTRL+S saves the document.
Callout 4 CTRL+P prints the document.

If you want to make a piece of text bold, for example, you would select the text and then could:

  • Go to the Format toolbar, and select the Bold Button image button.
  • Go to the Format menu, select Font, and choose Bold in the Font style box.
  • Press CTRL+B.

Or to copy some text, you would select it and then could:

  • Go to the Standard toolbar and select the Copy button Button image.
  • Go to the Edit menu, and select Copy.
  • Press CTRL+C.

As you can see from the above examples, it usually is much quicker to use the specific shortcut.

As we saw in the first lesson, each Office program has a complete list of keyboard shortcuts for that program in the Help topics. So if you don't know a specific shortcut, you can always look it up in the program's Help or on your hard copy, if you printed one out.

In addition, since keyboard shortcuts are shown on the right-hand side in the menus, as we saw in the second lesson, when you use the menus you will get a quick refresher.

However, you will find that the more frequently you use the shortcuts, the less you have to look them up. You will soon become very familiar with shortcuts that you use everyday.

Even if you usually are a mouse user, once you know some shortcuts, then you will discover the speed and efficiency of using keystrokes instead of the mouse. Rather than your hand leaving the keyboard continually to use the mouse, use a few keystrokes and you will quickly finish the task.

Note     In Word it is possible to assign a shortcut key to complete entire commands and macros, for example changing the font of text. To learn more about this feature, please see Customize your toolbars and menus.

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