The 50 Most Useful Microsoft Word Keyboard Shortcuts

These shortcuts are sure to make your life a lot easier the next time you're composing a Word document!

When you’re composing a Microsoft Word document, keyboard shortcuts can be a huge help to save you some time and make things more convenient. Keyboard shortcuts are the use of a series of keys to perform a specific action. There are iPhone & iPad keyboard shortcuts, Zoom keyboard shortcuts, YouTube keyboard shortcuts, and many more. But when it comes to Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts, here are the ones you should know.

When using Microsoft Word shortcuts, keep in mind that not every shortcut will work across every device. The Word shortcut keys vary. But as a general rule, the “Control” key on a PC functions in the same way as the “Command” key on a Mac (when it comes to keyboard shortcuts). They also may not work in every version of Microsoft Word, including Word 365. Though there are ways to customize or disable certain keyboard shortcuts, keyboard shortcuts should be automatically enabled.

In addition to Microsoft keyboard shortcuts, Microsoft Word also has a Ribbon option, which allows you to see a wider range of options and tools for editing your text. On a Mac, press Command+Option+R to show or minimize the ribbon. On a PC, press the Alt key to have the ribbon display letters called “Key Tips” that group the ribbon shortcuts accordingly. You can then create “Access Keys” so that you can open certain tabs with a few keystrokes. Check out Microsoft Support for a thorough explanation of how to use the ribbon and Access Keys—click the tabs toward the top of the page to select Mac vs. PC. Plus, check out the 46 most useful Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts.


There are a few basic Microsoft Word commands that are pretty handy when you’re editing a Word document. These are the big, more generic shortcuts rather than the ones that allow you to make specific changes to your text.

Ctrl+S Save the document
F12 (PC)
Command+Shift+S (Mac)
Save As shortcut
Ctrl+O Open the dialog box to open an existing document
Ctrl+N Open a new document
Ctrl+W Close the document you have open
Ctrl+P Open the window to print the document
Ctrl+F Open the “find” box, which lets you search within your document
Ctrl+Z Undo the most recent action
Ctrl+Y Redo the most recent action

Check out our guide to what those F1 – F12 keys do.

Moving around document

There are a few different ways to move your cursor around the document, primarily with the arrow keys. You may already know that you can move the cursor around one letter at a time, by pressing the left and right arrow keys, or one row at a time, by pressing the up and down arrow keys. But there are a few Microsoft Word commands that allow you to move to specific places in the document, whether with the arrow keys or others.

Ctrl+Left arrow Move the cursor one word to the left
Ctrl+Right arrow Move the cursor word to the right
Ctrl+Up arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the paragraph
Ctrl+Down arrow Move the cursor to the end of the paragraph
Ctrl+End (PC)
Fn + Right Arrow (Mac)
Move the cursor to the end of the document
Ctrl+Home (PC)
Fn + Left Arrow (Mac)
Move the cursor to the beginning of the document

Check out these tricks to make your computer run faster.

Selecting text

For the most part, you’ll be selecting specific text with your cursor. There are all sorts of things you can do with that text, using keyboard shortcuts, but there aren’t too many Microsoft keyboard shortcuts that specifically let you select, and/or act on, certain text.

Ctrl+A Select all contents of the document
Ctrl+Del (PC)
Delete+Fn (Mac)
Select and delete the word directly to the right of the cursor
Ctrl+Backspace (PC)
Ctrl+Delete (Mac)
Select and delete the word directly to the left of the cursor

Prefer your phone keyboard? Here are 25 hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about.

Editing text

There are lots of ways you can edit selected text using Word shortcuts. You can also use a keyboard shortcut to turn on Track Changes, allowing you to see edits that you make.

Ctrl+B Make selected text bold
Ctrl+I Put selected text in italics
Ctrl+K Insert a hyperlink.
Ctrl+U Underline selected text
Ctrl+Shift+> Increase the font one size up to size 12 and then two sizes size 12 and above
Ctrl+Shift+< Decrease the font two sizes down to size 12 and then one size size 12 and below
Ctrl+Equal sign (=) Subscript shortcut
Ctrl+Shift+Plus sign (+) Superscript shortcut
Command+Shift+X (Mac only) Word strikethrough shortcut
Ctrl+Shift+E Turn Track Changes on or off

If you rely heavily on Spell Check while using Microsoft Word, you should know these errors that Spell Check won’t catch.


These are the Word keyboard shortcuts you might be most familiar with, including the copy shortcut, cut shortcut, and paste shortcut. They really come in handy!

Ctrl+C Copy selected text to the clipboard (it will remain where it is)
Ctrl+X Cut selected text to the clipboard (it will be removed from the document)
Ctrl+V Paste the contents of the clipboard where the cursor is


Formatting plays a big role in the overall appearance of your document. Here’s how to use Word shortcuts to edit it.

Ctrl+1 Make the document single-spaced
Ctrl+2 Make the document double-spaced
Ctrl+5 Make the document 1.5-spaced
Ctrl+J Aligns the selected text to justify the screen (distribute the text evenly)
Ctrl+L Aligns the selected text to the left of the screen
Ctrl+R Aligns the selected text to the right of the screen
Ctrl+E Aligns the selected text to the center of the screen


To edit an outline in Word, you’ll first need to make sure you’re in Outline View. Click the View tab at the top of the screen, and then choose Outline. From there, you can use these Microsoft keyboard shortcuts to edit your outline.

Alt+Shift+Left arrow key (PC)
Control+Shift+Left arrow key (Mac)
Promote paragraph
Alt+Shift+Right arrow key (PC)
Control+Shift+Right arrow key (Mac)
Demote paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+N (PC)
Command +Shift+N (Mac)
Demote paragraph to body text
Alt+Shift+Up arrow key (PC)
Control+Shift+Up arrow key (Mac)
Move selected paragraphs up
Alt+Shift+Down arrow key (PC)
Control+Shift+Down arrow key (Mac)
Move selected paragraphs down

Find out all of the useful symbols you can make using the Alt key.


Tables are another handy Microsoft Word feature, and they have their own set of keyboard shortcuts.

Tab key Move to next cell in row and select its content
Shift+Tab Move to previous cell in row and select its content
Shift+Arrow keys Extend selection to adjacent cells (keep pressing arrow to include as many as you want)
Alt+Home (PC)
Control+Home (Mac)
Move to first cell in row
Alt+End (PC)
Control+End (Mac)
Move to last cell in row
Alt+Page up (PC)
Control+Page up (Mac)
Move to first cell in column
Alt+Page down (PC)
Control+Page down (Mac)
Move to last cell in column

Next, if you have a Mac, brush up on 41 of the most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts.


  • Computer Hope: “Microsoft Word shortcut keys”
  • O’Reilly: “Keyboard Differences”
  • OSX Daily: “The “Home” & “End” Button Equivalents on Mac Keyboards”
  • Microsoft Support: “Shortcuts in Word”
  • Nuts & Bolts: “Strikethrough Shortcut (Mac & PC) for Word, Google Docs, Excel & PowerPoint”
  • Dummies: “How Writers Can Use Word 2019’s Outline View”

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.