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Getting The Most Out Of Shortcuts In Word 2007
Fri 31st July 2009
The new Ribbon feature in Word 2007 ensures that finding commands is easy as they are grouped together in a logical format: fonts and styles are in the Home tab, comments and mark-up in the Review tab, and so on.
Each tab across the top of the Ribbon represents an activity area. Groups pull together all the commands you're likely to need for a type of task. Commands are arranged in groups. A command can be a button, a menu, or a box where you enter information.
Along with the new look Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2007, and the demise of menus and toolbars, comes new, easier ways to carry out tasks - including new keyboard shortcuts.
Keyboard shortcuts - called access keys - relate directly to the tabs, commands, and other things that you see on the screen. You use access keys by pressing the ALT key followed by another key or a sequence of other keys.
Every single command on the Ribbon, the Microsoft Office Button menu, and the Quick Access Toolbar has an access key, and every access key is assigned a key tip.
Keyboard shortcuts are widely used by those who are prefer to work continually on the keyboard without being interrupted reaching for the mouse. It's a bit like preferring to drive an automatic car after using one with a manual gearbox.
To check keyboard shortcuts, hold down the Alt key. An array of numbers and letters will pop up at various points on the Ribbon. These relate to the number or letter you need to hold down with the Alt key to access that command. Alt + H, for example, accesses the Home tab.
This is the ideal way to get to know the keyboard shortcuts for things you use constantly. Now that you know what all those letters and numbers correspond to, the shortcut key combinations make more sense.
A key combination keyboard shortcut is a set of keystrokes that, when pressed together, initiate an action. You can find the key combination for a command by resting the mouse pointer over the icon on the Ribbon (for example Ctrl + X is the command for Cut). If you're not using a mouse, there are no on-screen reminders of the key combinations - you have to memorise the keys.
By hovering over a command, you will also see a screentip. A screentip gives a brief descrition of the command. However the function to view screentips has to be turned on for this to happen. You can do this by selecting the Office Button, then in Word Options, select the Popular function and ensure that Show Screentips is selected in Screentip Style.
Access keys give you access to the Ribbon. They relate directly to the tabs, commands, and other things that you see on the screen. You use access keys by pressing the ALT key followed by another key or a sequence of other keys.
In Word 2007, it is possible to assign a shortcut key to complete entire commands and macros, for example to change text font. It's a good idea to find out about training courses which offer help and advice on learning about shortcut keys - and that way you won't have to admit you're still in the dark.
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