Microsoft Word: Business Writing 2; Check out These 24 Time-Saving Keyboard Shortcuts

Carol Bentley

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Direct Response Business writing is different to ordinary business writing and many of the automatic features in Word are an absolute nightmare!

In the first of this series of mini-articles I explained how to stop Word being ‘bossy’ and taking over your document.

Now you can discover 24 of the keyboard shortcuts (split into 5 categories) you can use whilst typing. Some, I’ve no doubt, are familiar. Others are neat tricks that can save you having to reach for the mouse and so save you a considerable amount of time (and maybe even RSI problems!)…

(Valid for Word 97 and later)

Formatting – Characters

1) Format text as you type with these keyboard shortcuts:

Bold ………………. Ctrl & B
Italics ………Ctrl & I
Underline ………Ctrl & U
Word Underline ………. . Ctrl, Shift & W
Switch Case (from CAPS to Proper Case to lower case) ……. . Shift & [F3]
Increase Point Size (by 2 points) ……. Ctrl, Shift & >
Decrease Point Size (by 2 points) ……. Ctrl, Shift & <
Increase Point Size (by 1 point) ……Ctrl, Shift & [
Decrease Point Size (by 1 point) ……Ctrl, Shift & ]

2) Stop two words splitting at the end of a line, e. g. keep a date number and month together, by using a ‘non-break’ space - press Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar

3) In reports, emphasise a paragraph. Use the Drop Cap feature: Click on Format, select Drop Cap. .

Formatting – Paragraphs

4) If you format titles (headlines & sub-headlines) of your text using the headings style you can modify a style and the change ripples through the whole of your document. A brilliant time-saver in long documents with lots of section headings. Plus you can use them to create a list of section contents, automatically (see the tip in the article Microsoft Word: Business Writing; 8 Tips To Save More Time).

Use these keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl + Alt + 1 ……Heading Style 1

Ctrl + Alt + 2 ……Heading Style 2

Ctrl + Alt + 3 ……Heading Style 3

Change the formatting for a specific heading using Styles (Styles & Formatting on Word XP), on the Format menu.

5) Format paragraphs, whilst typing, with these keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl & M ……. Indent the paragraph

Ctrl, Shift & M ……. . Decrease the paragraph indent

Ctrl & T ………. . Create a hanging indent

Ctrl, Shift & T ……. . Decrease a hanging indent

Ctrl & 1 ……… Single line spacing

Ctrl & 2 ………Double line spacing

Ctrl & 5 ……… 1.5 line spacing

Ctrl & 0 ……… Add / Close a line space before the paragraph. (Number 0)

In the other articles in this mini-series I share another 20 tips:

* Preparing Word – How to Stop Word being ‘bossy’ and taking over your document.

* Page formatting including Page borders; page numbering (starting at the number YOU want); and a brilliantly easy way to create underlines for forms (No, it is not the line drawing tool!) amongst others.

* Creating Contents lists; quick tips for spell checking and hyphenation

* More on Paragraph numbering and spacing (to stop your numbers and bullets disappearing when you want a line gap between paragraphs!)

©2005 Original Work by Carol Bentley

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