Customising Shortcuts in Word
Published July 2001

Back in November last year this column dealt with a few of the standard MS Word shortcuts which enabled you to open, save and edit documents using the keyboard, as opposed to using the mouse to point and click.

As well as being able to use the standard MS Word shortcuts, you are also able to set up your own shortcuts that allow you to use key combinations that suit you best. You can customise Shortcut keys for most Word functions (tasks that youíd use the menus to do) and also for inserting symbols and special characters (such as non breaking spaces and hyphens).

To customise inserting a symbol or special character in Word 6, 97 and 2000, open a document (any document) and go to the INSERT menu on the top of your screen, then select SYMBOL. This will open a window which has a tab each for Symbols and Special Characters and at the bottom has a button labelled Shortcut Key.

First select the Symbol (or special character) that you want to be able to insert using a shortcut key, for example ©, once it is highlighted it will stand out in a slightly bigger box than all the others, then click on the Shortcut Key button (which you can access by going ALT + k if you donít want to use the mouse). This brings up a new window which allows you to select your choice of shortcut key.

If you want to assign ALT and C to the symbol © then hold down the ALT key and then press the C key, then let them both go together. This will put ALT+C in the new shortcut key box and you will be told if your choice of keys has already been assigned. If it hasnít, then you can click on the Assign key.

At the bottom right hand corner of this window you are given the option of making this shortcut key only available in the document you have open or in all future documents. If you want it to be available in all your future documents ensure that the SAVE CHANGES IN box reads Normal.dot. This puts it into your document template for future use. You can then close the window and you have created your own shortcut.


To customise your keyboard for Word Functions or Tasks, again open a document (any document), but this time go to the TOOLS menu the top of your screen, then select CUSTOMIZE, then select from the very bottom right hand corner the KEYBOARD button (which you can access by going ALT + k if you donít want to use the mouse).

This brings up a whole range of categories, such as File, Edit, Insert which are the same categories youíll find on your top menu. Within each of these youíll find specific tasks. For example under FORMAT, youíll find an option to make your text ALLCAPS, i.e. all capitals. You can assign a new shortcut as detailed for symbols above, and you can remove the existing shortcut keys by selecting the information in the CURRENT KEYS area (ALT+U then down-arrow if you donít want to use the mouse) and then hitting the REMOVE key (ALT+R if you donít want to use the mouse).

Repeat the process outlined for symbol shortcuts to assign additional shortcut keys. Do remember if you want to check out any of the earlier editions of this newsletter you can check out the archive on the internet.

This page last updated on 9/07/2001 13:30

© Glynne MacLean 1999-2003

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