12 Time-Saving Tips for Microsoft Word

Despite the availability of many excellent, free word processors many of us still spend most of our writing time in Microsoft Word. It tends to be the most compatible tool you can choose to exchange documents with others, and lots of people are even forced to use it by dictatorial IT departments. In this post, I’ll round up some good tips that can make you more productive and save you lots of time in Word.

Paste Your Formats. If you want to apply your formatting and styles for a given paragraph or document to a new paragraph or document, hit Ctrl+Shift+C to copy, select the text you want to apply the formatting to, then hit Ctrl+Shift+V. Colors, fonts, styles and all other formatting will be applied.


Take me Back. If you need to step away from a document but want to have your cursor sitting right where you left it in the middle of an editing session when you return, you don’t have to leave your document open. Go ahead and close it. When you reopen it to resume editing, hit Shift+F5 to take your cursor back to precisely where you were.

Select a Whole Document. To select an entire document for copying or deletion, hit Ctrl+A.

Experiment with Paragraph Placement. Often, one paragraph or another in a document might work better above or below its current location. You don’t have to cut and paste to move paragraphs around. Just hold down the Shift and Alt keys together, then use the up and down arrow keys to move the paragraph around in the document.

More Paragraph Shuffling. Hit CTRL+E, CTRL+L, or CTRL+R to center, left-align or right-align a paragraph.

Create a Line. To create a horizontal line across the width of a document, as you might do to separate one part of a document from another, hit the hyphen key three times and then hit Enter.

Save Many Documents at Once. Do you have eight Word documents open and need to take a break? To rapidly save all open documents, hold down the Shift key and go to Word’s File menu. The usual Save menu choice will show up as Save All.

Rapid-Fire Sentence Jettison. Hold down the Ctrl key when you click on any sentence to highlight the whole sentence, then hit Delete. While you’re at it, click three times in rapid succession in any paragraph to select the whole thing, then hit delete if you want it gone.

Rapid-Fire Word Jettison. Double click your mouse on any word in a document to select it, then hit Delete.

Rapid-Fire Table Jettison.
To quickly get rid of a table, select it and hit backspace.

Beginnings and Endings. Hit Ctrl+Home or Ctrl+End to go to the beginning or end of a document.

Subscript or Superscript?
Hit Ctrl+ when you have a word, sentence or paragraph selected for subscript. Hit Ctrl, Shift+ for superscript.

Do you have any good Word tips?