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Do You Know These Shortcuts? — by Andy Scheer

They’ll save you time as you type.

Fortunately, most word-processing programs contain multiple shortcuts that let you accomplish important tasks without your fingers ever leaving the keys.

I especially missed these features a few weeks ago, while using a page-layout program to typeset a 200-page book. Multiple times on each page I needed to switch from the regular font to italic or boldface.

Had I been using a word-processing program such as Word or Open Office, that would have been easy. I wouldn’t have had to use my mouse to visit the top-screen menu and select the font variation. For italic, I’d simply have to type Control + I. And for bold, I’d just have to type Ctr + B.

It’s not that the designers of word-processing programs hide these shortcuts; they just don’t put them in plain sight. (Only a few years ago did I discover the fast way to close a document while keeping the program running. It’s Ctrl + W.)

Here are the two-key shortcuts I use most often:

Crtl + N     opens new document
Ctrl + W    closes document (but keep the program open)
Crtl + P     prints document

Crtl + C     copies selected material
Crtl + V     inserts copied material
Crtl + X     deletes selected material

Crtl + B     makes selected item Bold
Crtl + I      makes selected item Italic
Crtl + U     makes selected item Underlined

Crtl + A     selects all items
Crtl + S     saves file

Crtl + Z     “undo” previous action
Crtl + Y     “redo” the undone previous action

Crtl + F     find element in text
Crtl + H     replace element in text (e.g.: two spaces to one space)

For a more comprehensive list, visit: Start by using one new shortcut, then add another. Soon you’ll wonder how you ever wrote without them.



  1. Diana Flegal says:

    Thank you Andy for this helpful post.

  2. Nancy Lohr says:

    A helpful shortcut for me toggles through all caps/all lower case/headline caps (sort of). Highlight the text, hold the shift key down, and then tap F3. You’ll see all the options one after the other. Sure makes it easier to change all caps to a less shout-y presentation.

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