Microsoft Office Tips & Tricks: MS Word

This guide provides some tips and tricks to help you make the most of MS Word.
The list is not exhaustive, but is designed to make daily use a little easier.

Last updated: December 2020

Click the headings below to jump to a section.

  • Set default fonts
  • Zoom slider
  • Smart lookup
  • Keyboard shortcuts:
    • Ctrl + C: Copy
    • Ctrl + V: Paste
    • Ctrl + X: Cut
    • Ctrl + Z: Undo
    • Ctrl + Y OR F4: Redo
    • Ctrl + F: Find
    • Ctrl + H: Find and replace
    • Ctrl + K: Insert hyperlink
    • Ctrl + space: Clear formatting
    • Ctrl + enter: Insert page break
    • Ctrl + backspace: delete whole words

 

Set default fonts

Do you change your font settings each time you create or edit a Word document?
Save time by specifying the default font, style and colour.

From the home tab, open Font settings then make your choices and select ‘Set As Default’.

This image shows editing font settings and choosing to 'set as default' in MS Word.

 

You can change your paragraph settings in the same way. From the home tab, open Paragraph settings then make your choices and select ‘Set As Default’.

This image shows editing paragraph settings and choosing to 'set as default' in MS Word.

 

 

Zoom slider

Use the zoom slider in the bottom right-hand corner to quickly zoom in or out.

This image shows use of the zoom slider to zoom in and out on a document in MS Word.

 

  

Smart lookup

This function is a shortcut to searching the internet from within MS Word.
Highlight the word or phrase that you’d like to look up, right-click and select ‘Smart Lookup’.
The tool will open on the right-hand side.

This image shows right-click on a word to use the Smart Lookup function in MS Word.

 

Keyboard shortcuts

These shortcuts can save a lot of time when creating and editing documents.
Highlight the relevant text or place your cursor where needed, and then use these shortcuts.

 

  • Ctrl + C: Copy
    When you want to duplicate a section of text, this will add it to your clipboard.
  • Ctrl + V: Paste
    When you want to duplicate a section of text, this will ‘paste’ it in its new position.
  • Ctrl + X: Cut
    When you want to move a section, of text, this will add it to your clipboard and remove it from the original location.
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo
    If you make a mistake, this will undo your most recent change(s)
  • Ctrl + Y OR F4: Redo
    This will redo an action that you have previously undone.
  • Ctrl + F: Find
    Use this function when you want to quickly find a word or section of a document.
  • Ctrl + H: Find and replace
    Automatically replace a certain word or phrase with another that you specify.
  • Ctrl + K: Insert hyperlink
    You may want to link to a website, to another document, or to a section within your current document.
  • Ctrl + space: Clear formatting
    This function will remove all formatting from a section of text in one go, including font type, size, text attributes (bold, italics, underlining) and colour. The section will revert to your default font settings.
  • Ctrl + Enter: Insert page break
    A page break allows you to end a page without filling it with text, and is useful for ensuring that a new section always starts on a new page.
  • Ctrl + backspace: delete whole words
    Save time when deleting text by placing the cursor at the end of the word where you want to start deleting word by word instead of letter by letter.
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