Microsoft Office is being used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide and Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processing and document creation software in the world. It is used to create documents, such as letters, articles, resumes, reports, forms, tests, students’ homework assignments, and countless other purposes.

Learning how to use Microsoft Word is one of the basic and required skills for any job position. All kinds of businesses, professionals, and students rely on Microsoft Word for content creation. That being said, not everyone knows how to fully utilize the capabilities of the software.

Word gives a number of functions and features to make document creation faster and easier. One such function is Keyboard Shortcuts. It is a more convenient and faster way to perform certain actions in MS Word, like copying and pasting text, printing and saving, and much more.

Because when you are typing, you might have both hands on the keyboard and you probably don’t want to reach for the mouse every time you need to invoke a command in the program. That’s why Microsoft Word has shortcuts, to help you be more efficient in your work. Let’s take a look at lists of shortcut keys everyone should learn.

Most Frequently Used Shortcut Keys in Microsoft Word

Let us start off with the most frequently used shortcut keys for MS Word which help users save time and work productively. We are going to list Microsoft Word shortcut keys for both Windows and Mac pc. The shortcuts keys are mostly similar for both Operating systems, one of the few differences is that you press the ‘Ctrl’ key on Windows while you press ‘Command’ (which is ⌘ symbol) on a Mac computer.

Here are the most commonly used hotkeys in MS Word for Microsoft Windows and macOS.

Windows ShortcutsMAC ShortcutsDescription
Ctrl + CCommand + CCopy the selected content to the clipboard
Ctrl + XCommand + XCut the selected content to the clipboard
Ctrl + VCommand + VPaste the select the content from the clipboard
Ctrl + SCommand + SSave the Word document
F12Command + Shift + SSave As the Word document
Ctrl + ZCommand + Z
Undo the last action
Ctrl + PCommand + POpen the Print window to print current page
Ctrl + ACommand + ASelect all the content on all pages
Ctrl + OCommand + OOpens an existing document
Ctrl + NCommand + NOpen a new document
Ctrl + WCommand + WClose the current document
Alt + F4Command + QClose the Microsoft Word software
Ctrl+ FCommand + FOpen the Find dialog box to find text within the current document
Ctrl + YCommand + YRedo the last action
Ctrl + BCommand + BBold the highlighted text
Ctrl + ICommand + IItalicise the highlighted text
Ctrl + UCommand + UUnderline the highlighted text
Ctrl + Homefn + Left Arrow KeyMove to the beginning of a document
Ctrl + Endfn + Right Arrow KeyMove to the end of a document
Ctrl + HCtrl + HFind and replace
EscEscCancel a command

Formatting Shortcuts in Microsoft Word

You can use the following shortcuts to apply formatting to text in MS document.

Ctrl + ]Command + ]Increase the font size by 1 unit
Ctrl + [Command + [Decrease the font size by 1 unit
Ctrl + DCommand + DOpen the font dialog box
Shift + F3fn + Shift + F3Cycle through case format (all UPPERCASE, all lowercase, or Capital First Letter In Each Word)
Ctrl + Shift + ACommand + Shift + AChange all letter to Capitals
Ctrl + =Command + =Apply subscript format to the text
Ctrl + Shift + =Command + Shift + =Apply superscript format to the text
Ctrl + ECommand + EAligns the selected text to the center
Ctrl + LCommand + LAligns the selected text to the Left
Ctrl + RCommand + RAligns the selected text to the Right
Ctrl + JCommand + JJustify the alignment
Ctrl + Shift + DCommand + Shift + DApply double underline
Ctrl + Shift + CCommand + Shift + DCopy only formatting of the selected text
Ctrl + Shift + VCommand + Shift + VPaste formatting onto a selected text
Ctrl + KCommand + KAdd a hyperlink to the selected text.
Ctrl + 1 Command + 1Set line spacing to single
Ctrl + 2Command + 2Set line spacing to double
Ctrl + 5Command + 5Set line spacing to 1.5
Ctrl + Shift + SCommand + Shift + SOpen the Apply styles dialog box to change styles
Ctrl + Alt+ 1Command + Option + 1Apply the Heading 1 style
Ctrl + Alt+ 2Command + Option + 2Apply the Heading 2 style
Ctrl + Alt+ 3Command + Option + 3Apply the Heading 3 style
Ctrl + Shift + LCommand + Option + LApply the list style to the paragraph
Ctrl + MCommand + Right/Left ArrowIndent the paragraph from the margin

Selection Shortcuts in Microsoft Word

You can use the following hotkeys to extend selection to text in different ways:

Shift + Left Arrow keyShift + Left Right Arrow keyExtent selection one character to the left
Shift + Right Arrow keyShift + Right Arrow keyExtend selection one character to the Right
Ctrl + Shift + LeftCommand + Shift + LeftSelect one word to the left
Ctrl + Shift + RightCommand + Shift + RightSelect one word to the right.
Shift + Up ArrowShift + Up ArrowSelect one line up
Shift + Down ArrowShift + Down ArrowSelect one line down
Ctrl + Shift + UpCommand + Shift + UpExpand selection to the beginning of the paragraph
Ctrl + Shift + Down ArrowCommand + Shift + Down ArrowExpand selection to the end of the paragraph
Ctrl + Shift + HomeCommand + Shift + HomeExtend your selection to the beginning of a document
Ctrl + Shift + EndCommand + Shift + EndExtend your selection to the end of a document
Ctrl + Shift + *Command + 8View or Hide non-printing characters 

Navigation Shortcuts

You can use any of the below shortcuts to move around in MS Word document:

Left/Right Arrow keyLeft/Right Arrow keyMove the cursor one character to the left or right
Up/Down Arrow keyUp/Down Arrow keyMove the cursor up or down one line
Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow keyCommand + Left/Right Arrow keyMove the cursor one word to the left or right
Ctrl + Up/Down ArrowCommand + Up/Down ArrowMove the cursor one paragraph up or down
HomeCommand + Left Arrow keyMove the cursor to the beginning of the line
EndCommand + Right Arrow keyMove the cursor to the end of the line
Ctrl + HomeCommand + HomeMove the cursor to the top of the document
Ctrl + EndCommand + EndMove the cursor to the end of the document
Ctrl + GCommand + GOpen the ‘Go to’ dialog box, where you can specify to move to a specific page, section, line, etc.
Shift + F5Shift + F5Cycle through the last three locations where your cursor was placed.

Insertion Shortcuts in Microsoft Word

Sometimes, you may want to insert some commonly used symbols or some fields using keyboards, instead of combing through the menus. Use these hotkeys to insert things in MS word:

Alt + Shift + DControl + Shift + DInsert a Date field
ALT + Shift + TControl + Shift + TInsert a Time field
ALT + Shift + LControl + Shift + LInsert a list field
ALT + Shift + PControl + Shift + PInsert a page field
Ctrl + F9fn + Command + F9Insert an empty field
Alt + N, MCommand + Control + MOpen the SmartArt graphic dialog box to insert a graphic

Alt + Ctrl + F
Command + Option + FInsert a footnote
Alt + Ctrl + DCommand + Option + DInsert an endnote
Alt + Ctrl + COption + GInsert a copyright symbol (©)
Alt + Ctrl + TOption + 2Insert a trademark symbol (™)
Alt + Ctrl + .Option + ;Insert an ellipsis
Shift + EnterShift + ReturnInsert a line break
Ctrl + EnterCommand + EnterInsert a page break

Help Shortcuts in MS Word

Here are the shortcut keys you can use to access help menus in Microsoft Word:

F7Command + Option + LOpen spellcheck

Shift + F7
Fn + Shift + F7Open Thesaurus
F1F1Open Help guide
Ctrl + O Command + OOpen Options

Ribbon Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

Microsoft Windows has an ‘Alt’ key control which allows access to all the tabs and their functions in the Ribbon. Unfortunately, Mac PCs lack this ‘Alt’ key control of the menus in Office. But if you are a Windows user, you can use these Acces key shortcuts via keyboards. When you press the ‘Alt’ key, it will show you ‘Key Tips’ letters. You can combine the ‘Alt’ key with these ‘Key Tips’ letter to make the following Access Keys for the ribbon options:

Windows ShortcutsDescription
Alt + FOpen the File tab to access the Backstage view
Alt + HOpen the Home tab
Alt + NOpen the Insert tab
Alt + GOpen the Design tab
Alt + POpen the Layout tab
Alt + SOpen the References tab
Alt + MOpen the Mailings tab
Alt + ROpen the Review tab
Alt + WOpen the View tab
Alt + QOpen the Tell me or Search box on the Ribbon to search for Help content.

Shortcuts for Tables in MS Word

These are the shortcut keys to move around in tables in Microsoft Word:

Alt + HomeControl + HomeMove to the first cell in a row
Alt + EndControl + EndMove to the last cell in a row
Alt + Page upControl + Page upMove to the first cell in a column
Alt + Page downControl + Page downMove to the last cell in a column
Tab keyTab keyMove to the next cell in a row and select its contents,
Shift + TabShift + TabMove to the previous cell in a row and select its content
Shift + Up/DownShift + Up/DownExtend selection to the row above or below
Shift + Left/RightShift + Left/RightExtend selection to the column left or right

Shortcuts for Outlines in MS Word

You can use any of these keyboard shortcuts to edit your outlines in MS Word.

Alt + Shift + Left arrow keyControl + Shift + Left arrow key Promote the numbered paragraph
Alt + Shift + Right arrow keyControl + Shift + Right arrow keyDemote the numbered paragraph
Ctrl + Shift + NCommand + Shift + NDemote paragraph to body text
Alt + Shift + Up arrowControl + Shift + Up arrow keyMove selected paragraphs up
Alt + Shift + Down arrow key Control + Shift + Down arrow keyMove selected paragraphs Down
Alt + Shift + Plus SignControl + Shift + Plus SignExpand text under a heading
Alt + Shift + Minus SignControl + Shift + Minus SignCollapse text under a heading
Alt + Shift + AControl + Shift + AToggle between expand or collapse all text or headings in an outline
Alt + Shift + LControl + Shift + LShow the first line of text or all body text
Alt + Shift + 1Control + Shift + 1Show all headings with Heading 1 style
Alt + Shift + nControl + Shift + nShow all headings up to ‘n’ level
Ctrl + Tab Command + Tab Insert a Tab character