This is an easy one you may not know about: instead of slowly pecking at the keyboard to delete text, or holding down Backspace to eliminate words or entire sentences, press Ctrl+Backspacewith the cursor placed after a word you want to erase a word at a time, making a tedious task much easier.
4. Use Smart Lookup to search the Internet.
Anytime you highlight a word or phrase and right-click it, you’ll see “Smart Lookup,” which serves as a quick shortcut to browse the web — without slowing down to open a separate browser window. From word definitions to news scans, this powerful tool can transform a simple question into a wealth of knowledge.
5. Remove unwanted formatting.
Trying to turn a document from an external source into something that works for you? Strange formatting can slow you down, so instead of trying to fix one thing at a time, press Ctrl + Space or click the Clear All Formatting button (in newer versions, an eraser on an A on the Home tab) to remove formatting from highlighted text and start fresh with your own style.
6. Tell the program exactly what you want to do.
Most newer versions of Word include a handy “Tell me what you want to do” field at the top of the toolbar. Insert a word or phrase pertaining to any instruction and the program can quickly identify the command you’re looking for.
7. Use multiple clicks to select chunks of copy.
Rather than employing the tedious drag and highlight method, you can use your mouse to select chunks of copy: double-click over a word to highlight it or triple-click to highlight an entire sentence or section.
8. Quickly insert links into a document.
Similar to the copy/paste/cut commands, learning the keyboard shortcut for adding web links to a document — Ctrl + K — will save lots of time and quickly become one of the sharpest tools in your kit.
9. Select the default font you want, not the default font Word wants you to use.
Don’t like Calibri or Cambria? Prefer Arial to Times New Roman, or like the modern nature of Verdana? The best part about Microsoft Word is you can choose the default font — this command differs by version, but the most reliable way is to click Format > Font, select the attributes you want, and then click Default.
10. Find any word you want quickly and easily.
Instead of using your mouse to navigate to the Find command, click Ctrl + F to either open the window in older versions of Word or move the cursor automatically to the Search in Document menu that always appears in the toolbar in newer versions.
BONUS TIP: Click the drop-down arrow on the Find menu’s magnifying glass and click Replace to automatically replace a certain word or phrase with a different word or phrase you specify.
No matter what your level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, we could all use a boost to make our use of the program more productive and efficient.