Disabling a Keystroke Combination in Word

Shortcuts can be disabled for one or all Word documents

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Keystroke combinations, often called shortcut keys, are credited with increasing productivity in Word because you keep your hands on the keyboard and not on the mouse. Most keystroke combinations begin with the Ctrl key, although some use the Alt key. For example, the keyboard combination Ctrl + C copies any selected text to the clipboard. Word ships with many shortcut keys already set up, but you can create your own keystroke combinations.

Just as you can create new shortcut keys for commands or macros in Microsoft Word, you can disable shortcut keys. While these keystrokes provide valuable functions to most users, they can create problems for people who activate them accidentally.

How to Disable a Shortcut in Microsoft Word

You cannot disable all the shortcut keys at once; you'll have to do it one at a time for the keystroke combinations that bother you. If you decide you need to disable a keystroke combination in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Open a document in Microsoft Word.

  2. From the Tools menu, select Customize Keyboard to open the Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  3. In the scroll box beneath the Categories label, select All Commands.

  4. In the Commands scroll box, select the category that applies to the shortcut you want to remove. For example, in the Commands list, select CopyText if you want to remove the copy text keyboard shortcut.

  5. When you click it, the keyboard shortcut for copying text (or the keyboard combination you chose) appears in the box under Current Keys

  6. Highlight the shortcut in the box below the Current keys label.

  7. Click the Remove button to delete the keyboard combination.

  8. In the drop-down box next to Save changes in, select Normal to apply the change to all documents created in Word. To disable the key only for the current document, select the document name from the list.

  9. Click OK to save the change and close the dialog box.

The list of all commands is lengthy and not always easy to figure out. Use the search field at the top of the Commands box to find the shortcut you are looking for. For example, type paste in the search field if you want to disable the paste shortcut, and the command that is highlighted is EditPaste. It returns two shortcuts in the Current keys area: a keyboard combination and an F key entry. Highlight the one you want to delete before clicking the Remove button.