Frequently Used Microsoft Word Shortcuts

Shortcut keys in Word let you execute commands with a keystroke

Close-up of a person pressing keys a laptop keyboard

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Shortcut keys, sometimes called hotkeys, execute commands that, for example, save documents and open new files quickly. Don't search through the menus to perform frequent tasks. Instead, use the keyboard. You'll increase your productivity when you keep your hands on the keyboard and quit reaching for the mouse.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word for Mac.

How to Use Shortcut Keys

In Windows, most shortcut keys for Word use the Ctrl key combined with a letter. The Mac version of Word uses letters combined with the Command key.

To activate a command using a shortcut key, hold the first key for the shortcut, then press the correct letter key once to activate it. Then, release both keys.

Best Microsoft Word Shortcut Keys

There are many commands available in Microsoft Word, but these 10 keys are used most often:

Windows Hotkey Mac Hotkey What It Does
Ctrl+N Command+N (New) Creates a new blank document.
Ctrl+O Command+O (Open) Displays the Open dialog box to select a file to open in Word.
Ctrl+S Command+S (Save) Saves the current document.
Ctrl+P Command+P (Print) Opens the Print dialog box to print the current page.
Ctrl+Z Command+Z (Undo) Cancels the last change made to the document.
Ctrl+Y N/A (Repeat) Repeats the last command executed.
Ctrl+C Command+C (Copy) Copies the selected content to the Clipboard without deleting the content.
Ctrl+X Command+X (Cut) Deletes selected content and copies the content to the Clipboard.
Ctrl+V Command+V (Paste) Pastes the cut or copied content.
Ctrl+ F Command+F (Find) Finds text within the current document.

Function Keys As Shortcuts

Function keys — the F keys along the top row of the keyboard — behave similarly to shortcut keys. These function keys execute commands by themselves, without using the Ctrl or Command key.

Here are a few examples:

  • F1 opens the Word Help.
  • F5 opens the Find and Replace tool.
  • F12 opens the Save As dialog box to save the current document with a different name or file extension (for example, to save a DOCX file to DOC format).

In Windows, some of these keys can be combined with other keys:

  • Ctrl+F1 hides the Ribbon menu in Word.
  • Ctrl+F9 inserts curly brackets, or braces, before and after the cursor location. This makes it easier to enter text inside brackets.
  • Ctrl+F12 displays the Open dialog box to select a new file to open in Word. This key combination bypasses the File menu.

Other Microsoft Word Hotkeys

In Windows, press the Alt key any time you're in Word to see how to work with only the keyboard. This trick helps you visualize how to use chains of shortcut keys to perform tasks. For example, press Alt+G+P+S+C to open the dialog box to change paragraph spacing options, or press Alt+N+I+I to insert a hyperlink.

Microsoft keeps a master list of Word shortcut keys for Windows and Mac that quickly do different things. In Windows, make custom MS Word shortcut keys to take your hotkey usage to the next step.