• 3-minute read
  • 19th August 2018

Microsoft Word Tips: Handy Shortcuts You Need to Know

The shortcuts in Microsoft Word are a great way of boosting efficiency while writing. They are also much cheaper than going on a professional typing course. Consequently, we recommend learning a few of the function and formatting shortcuts we’ve compiled below.

Function Shortcuts

These shortcuts control some common functions in Microsoft Word:



PC Shortcut

Mac Shortcut

Open a new document

Ctrl + N

Command + N

Open a saved document

Ctrl + O

Command + O


Ctrl + S

Command + S


Ctrl + Z

Command + Z


Ctrl + Y

Command + Y


Ctrl + C

Command + C


Ctrl + X

Command + X


Ctrl + V

Command + V

Select all

Ctrl + A

Command + A

Insert comment

Ctrl + Alt + M

Command + Option + A

Search document

Ctrl + F

Ctrl + F

Find and replace

Ctrl + H

Ctrl + H

Insert current date

Shift + Alt + D

Control + Shift + D

Insert current time

Shift + Alt + T

Control + Shift + T

Formatting Shortcuts

These shortcuts provide quick and simple ways to format text:


PC Shortcut

Mac Shortcut


Ctrl + B

Command + B


Ctrl + I

Command + I


Ctrl + U

Command + U

Change selected text to all caps

Ctrl + Shift + A

Command + Shift + A

Increase font size by one

Ctrl + ]

Command + Shift + >

Decrease font size by one

Ctrl + [

Command + Shift + <

Align centre

Ctrl + E

Command + E

Align left

Ctrl + L

Command + L

Align right

Ctrl + R

Command + R

Justify text

Ctrl + J

Command + J

Single space lines

Ctrl + 1

Command + 1

Double space lines

Ctrl + 2

Command + 2

Set line spacing to 1.5

Ctrl + 5

Command + 5

Heading 1

Ctrl + Alt + 1

Cmd + Option + 1

Heading 2

Ctrl + Alt + 2

Cmd + Option + 2

Heading 3

Ctrl + Alt + 3

Cmd + Option + 3

Customising Keyboard Shortcuts

Find yourself doing something over and over in Microsoft Word but there isn’t a shortcut for it? Then you’ll be happy to hear you can create your own. To do this in Word for Windows:

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  • Go to File > Options
  • Go to Customize Ribbon > Keyboard shortcuts and click Customize

    Customising shortcuts.
    Customising shortcuts.
  • In the new window, scroll through the Categories and Commands to find the function required
  • Select a command and go to the Press new shortcut key field (if there is already a shortcut assigned, it will show up in the Current keys field)
  • Hold down the key combination you want to use as a shortcut
  • Select where to save the shortcut from the Save changes in menu
  • Click Assign to assign the shortcut (you can also use this menu to remove an existing shortcut by selecting it and clicking Remove)
More shortcut options.
More shortcut options.

In Word for Mac, meanwhile, you can assign shortcuts using the shortcut functions in Mac OS X.

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