Microsoft Word is a word processing program that allows you to create and edit text documents, and is probably the most used program within the Microsoft Office suite. This article aims to highlight some of the keyboard shortcuts available and provide you with some useful tips when using Word. These kinds of hints and tips can be learned by attending a Microsoft Word training course.

Here are a few tips which you may find useful when using Word:

Changing the case of text
Sometimes you may have typed a lot of text before you realise the Caps Lock key is on, or perhaps you've typed a paragraph of text in all caps and would now prefer to have it in initial caps and lower case. Word has several tools available that can be used to fix this:

  • Change the incorrect text manually by selecting the text and choosing Change Case in the Format menu. You have the choice of a number of different formats including upper case, lower case, sentence case (where the beginning of each sentence is capitalised), toggle case (this makes upper case into lower case and vice versa) and title case.

  • Use the keyboard to change the case. Select the text then hold down the SHIFT key and press the F3 key to cycle through the various case options described above.

  • The AutoCorrect feature in Word will automatically correct accidental use of the caps lock key. Select the AutoCorrect option in the Tools menu and check the box labelled "Correct accidental use of the cAPS lOCK key".

Get Auto Numbering under control
The Auto Numbering tool in Word can be a very useful tool, but it can also be very annoying. If you start a list by typing "1." and then typing some text, when you press ENTER at the end of the paragraph Word will automatically convert the paragraph to a numbered list and indent the next paragraph and start it with "2.". This is alright if you want a sequentially numbered list but sometimes you may have a list that is not sequential or you may not want Word to number the list. To turn off Auto Numbering go to the Tools menu and select the Auto Correct option. Click the tab labelled "Auto Format As You Type" and remove the check mark from the box "Automatic Numbering Lists". Auto Numbering can be turned back on by re-checking this box.

Pick up where you left off
When you open a document to work on in Word the flashing cursor is automatically placed at the top of the first page. This can be frustrating when you are continuing work on a long document as to pick up where you left off you have to scroll through many pages to find the correct location and then click to move the flashing cursor. To get round this problem as soon as you open the document hold down the SHIFT key and press the F5 key. Word will then move the flashing cursor to the exact point where you left off when the document was last closed, whether it was at the end of the document or somewhere in the middle.

Add lines in Word
You can get Word to draw horizontal lines across the page using the following keystrokes:

  • Normal line - Three hyphens (---) and ENTER

  • Bold line - Three underscores (___) and ENTER

  • Double line - Three equals signs (===) and ENTER

  • Thick line with thin lines above and below - Three hashed (###) and ENTER

The keyboard can often work faster than the mouse, so why not give the mouse and your wrist a break and start accomplishing tasks more quickly and easily with simple keystrokes.

Paste CTRL+V
Replace CTRL+H
Select all CTRL+A

AutoFormat CTRL+ALT+K
Underline CTRL+U
Italics CTRL+I
Subscript CTRL+=
Superscript CTRL+SHIFT+=

Text justification
Justify centre CTRL+E
Justify full CTRL+J
Justify left CTRL+L
Justify right CTRL+R

Line spacing
Line spacing 1 CTRL+1
Line spacing 1.5 CTRL+5
Line spacing 2 CTRL+2

Date Field ALT+SHIFT+D
Help F1
Print CTRL+P

More tips
For even more tips when using Microsoft Word, why not visit the hints and tips page.