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Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

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As a retired professor of Office Administration (now working as an Administrative Assistant at a local non-profit), I presented many technology workshops for office professionals.  Here are some of my favorite shortcuts for Microsoft Word:

Remove All Formatting - Many times you want to remove formatting from text you may have copies from another document, website, etc.  To remove all formatting:

  • Select CTRL + A = Highlights all text
  • Select CTRL + Spacebar = Removes all formatting; then you can change to desired format

Moving Rows Up In A Table - When to need to move items up in a row in a table, many will insert a new row in the desired location; cut the text from the current location; go to the new location, then paste; then delete the now blank row.  A quicker method is this:

  • Click in desired row needing moved
  • Hold down ALT + Shift + Up Arrow or Down Arrow = The row with the text will move to the new desired location.  (Tip:  Hold down with your left hand, ALT + Shift, then with your right hand, either use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow (in center of keyboard) to move row.

New Page Break - Here is a common one many do not use to make a new page break--many will just space down until a new page appears, which will mess up the text when editing.

  • At the end of the last paragraph where a new page is desired, simply select:
  • CTRL + Enter

Readability Level - If you want to know at what level you (or your boss) are writing, simply use this feature.  After spellchecking, it will give you a readout of what level the document is written for, as well as other useful information.  This is useful when knowing who your audience is.  In a document, select:

  • File
  • Options
  • Proofing
  • Show Readability Statistics (near bottom of window)

Some Useful Shortcuts:

CTRL + Home = Top of document

CTRL + End = End of Document

CTRL + A = Select all text/objects in document

CTRL + Z = Undo last commend/typing; while holding down CTRL, keep hitting Z to undo as many times as you need.

CTRL + Y = Redo last command/typing; while holding down CTRL, keep hitting Y to redo as many times as you need.

One last tip for today.  

Spellcheck - The default for Word to skip words in all CAPS.  Therefore, many errors can be there, especially in headings, because it is ignored.  I turn it on to always check all CAPS words.  To do so:

  • File
  • Options
  • Proofing
  • Under the heading, "When correcting spelling..., Place a check in the box.  Now it will check all lowercase as well as all CAPS. 

Try some of these, and let me know your favorite.  Hopefully, you will have tips to share.  I will share more later.  Any questions, please respond.


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Roger, you are so awesome for sharing this!  I really needed to learn clearing the document format shortcut.  Great to use when using a template.  Plus I love keyboard shortcuts!  

You just made my day 🤙🤜😃

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thank you very much! I have been using Open Office/Libre Office for the past 17 years and have not used MS in at least 10 years.  With a younger work force, my employer is moving towards Micro Soft products, so I will need to learn it again from scratch.  These tips will help a lot.

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