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Hot Tips

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These are some of the useful keystrokes and Hot Tips to speed up the use of Microsoft Office. Most work with most versions. Try them to find out.

I will be adding to them from time so it's worth looking in fairly often.

Many of these tips are demonstrated (and some were discovered) in my Byte Sized Training Courses. Click Here for the up to date course schedule.

Office

Use CTRL + P to get to the print dialogue box - much quicker than waving the mouse about.

Office

Use CTRL + S to save a named file. If you haven't named your file yet it will take you to the save as dialogue box.

Office

Use CTRL + O to reach the Open File dialogue box.

Access

Use SHIFT + F2 to open up a memo field so you can see what you are doing. Use CTRL + ENTER for a new paragraph without closing the box.

Access

Use CTRL + ; to enter today's date. This will not be a field so the date will be fixed.

Access

Use CTRL + ' to copy the contents of the field above into the selected field. Useful for repetitive data such as Town, County etc

Access

If you use any of the drawing abilities of Access, fields, text labels or other objects in forms or reports you can move them with the cursor keys more easily than with the mouse. Vertical or horizontal moves are less likely to wander off-line. Use CTRL and cursor keys for smaller movement increments.

Excel

Use =TODAY() for a dynamic today's date field which will update on Save, Open, Print etc. Use F9 to force an update.

Use =NOW() for a dynamic Date:Time field

Excel

Select a row with Shift + Space bar or a column with CTRL + Spacebar

Excel

Use CTRL + ` (grave accent next to #1) to toggle between showing results and showing formulas. Good for fault finding.

Excel

Use CTRL + ; to enter today's date. This will not be a field so the date will be fixed.

Excel

Use CTRL + ' to copy the contents of the cell above into the selected cell

Excel

Use Shift + F11 to get a new worksheet to the left of the selected worksheet.

Excel

Precede numbers in Excel with an apostrophe ( ' ) to store them as text. Good for dialling codes etc. The ( ' ) is visible in the formula bar but not in the cell and they don't print. If you have lots to enter then better to format the column for text

Excel

Use CTRL + 1 to open the cell format dialogue box. (Works in Excel 2007 too - to save having to look for it!)

Excel

Use F4 to add dollar signs $ to references to make them absolute so they don't change as you replicate cell contents. Press F4 again and it will remove one of them and another press will swap them over. A final press will take both off - then start again.

Excel

To enter the same data in a range of cells select them first then type the contents that you want to go in every cell.  Instead of pressing the Enter key use CTRL + Enter and your text will be in every cell.

Excel

Use CTRL + Tab to switch to the next open Workbook

 

Excel

Hover the mouse over any of the four arrows and right click for a menu showing all the tab names. Much easier than scrolling back and forth between multiple tabs, especially when they have long names and you can't see most of them.

 

Excel

If you use #,##0.00_);(#,##0.00) in the custom section of the cell format dialogue box you will get columns where the pence or zeros line up properly whether they are positive or negative. The bit that does it is the _) just at the end of the positive sector. It forces Excel to allow for whatever character width comes after the _underscore.

Excel 2003

Use CTRL + F1 to hide or unhide the Task Pane.

Excel 2003

The Sort dialogue box from the Data menu only offers a three way sort (Excel 2007 offers more) but you can still achieve a four way (or more) sort by using the A-Z or Z-A Icons instead. First decide what order you want for the sort - for example County, Town, Company, Last Name. Click in the Last Name column and use the A-Z (or Z-A) for the first sort. Click in the Company column then hold down CTRL and click on A-Z for the second sort. Click in the Town column and Hold CTRL while you click on A-Z for the third sort and then finally click in County and hold down CTRL and click A-Z for the final sort. The trick, as you can see, is to reverse the order in which you sort the columns so that you do your prime sort (County) last.

Excel 2003

Hold down CTRL as you rotate the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in or out.

PowerPoint

Start a PowerPoint presentation from the current slide with Shift F5 or use F5 to start from slide 1

PowerPoint

In a PowerPoint presentation pressing "W" will toggle the screen between your presentation and white.

PowerPoint

In a PowerPoint presentation pressing "B" will toggle the screen between your presentation and black.

PowerPoint

Holding Shift down as you draw a circle will only allow a perfect circle. Hold Shift down as you draw the perfect square as well. Shift also takes the kinks out of drawing long lines but does allow lines at incremental angles between horizontal and vertical.

PowerPoint

Use ALT + Shift + # (up cursor) to move bullet points up
Use ALT + Shift + (down cursor) to move bullet points down
Use ALT + Shift + ! (Left cursor) to promote bullet points
Use ALT + Shift + " (right cursor) to demote bullet points

Word

Use Ctrl + E to centre text. Ctrl + L for left aligned, guess what Ctrl + R does. Finally you can turn on full justification with Ctrl + J

Word

Use CTRL + Alt + C for the Copyright Symbol

Use CTRL + Alt + T for the Trademark Symbol

Use CTRL + Alt + R for the Registered Trademark Symbol

Word

Use Shift + F5 to go back to the place you were working at when you saved and closed Word. This saves a lot of time on large documents.

Word

Use CTRL+ Shift + = for superscript and CTRL + = for subscript. Lets you create c/o and 50o C etc.

Word

Use CTRL+Shift+8 (*) to toggle formatting marks on and off. 

Word

Select some text then use CTRL + SHIFT + . (>) to see the text grow. Use CTRL + SHIFT + , (<) to make it shrink. It will increment font sizes but only offer those which your default printer can handle.

Word

Use Shift + F9 to toggle between showing a field and the result of that field and use ALT + F9 to toggles between all the fields and the results of those fields. This is very useful for revealing merge fields, dates etc in mailing letters. 

Word

Split a table (or column) with CTRL + SHIFT + Enter

Word

Type some text you will need to reuse many times, such as Yours faithfully, your name, your title etc then select it. Use ALT + F3 and type in a code* then OK. When you need that same text you type in the code and press F3 to retrieve the text. It works for graphics and tables too.

* My initials are IB so for the above example I would use the code YFIBT but would use YSIB for Yours sincerely, your name - no title

Word

CTRL + Shift - Hyphen will get you a non-breaking hyphen.

Word 

CTRL + Shift - Spacebar will get you a non-breaking space.

Word

Get a new line (but not a new paragraph) with Shift + Enter. This is great for adding a bit more information without creating a new bullet point.

Word

Insert a page break with CTRL + Enter instead of using lots of Enters

Word

Use CTRL + M to create an indent. Use CTRL + Shift + M to un-indent (Outdent?)

Word

Use F5 to open the Go To box. Type a page # and click on Go To. This is the quick way to get there.

Word 2003

Use CTRL + F1 to hide or unhide the Task Pane.

Word

Use ALT + Shift + Up arrow to move a paragraph up through a Word document. Use ALT + Shift + Down arrow to move a paragraph down

Word

Use ALT + Shift + Left arrow (or Right) to promote (or demote) a paragraph heading style in a Word document. This works with bullet points too.

Word

Shift + F3 will change the case (capitalisation) of selected text. (Gives a variety of results)

Word

Use Shift + Enter to give a soft line break. This is handy to add a bit of text below a numbered or bulleted heading because it doesn't create a new paragraph and therefore doesn't add a new number.

Word

Use Alt + F9 to toggle between displaying fields and the results of those fields. This is handy for spotting bookmarks, date fields and merge fields. Use Shift + F9 to toggle just the field you have selected.

Word

Use CTRL + Tab to get a tab in a #Word table or use Tab on its own to move to the next cell.

Word

To get the smallest possible margins - perhaps for a poster or sign - go to the page layout dialogue box and set all the margins to zero. Click on OK and Word will offer to "fix" the settings and will set them all to the minimum that your default printer can cope with. This saves a lot of time and guesswork.

Word

Use CTRL + F for "Find" and CTRL + H for "Find & Replace" in all versions of Word. Take a moment to look at the "More" and "Special" buttons on the dialogue box too. Very useful for stripping out character marks and double spaces.

Word

Double click a word to highlight it then use Shift + F7 to open the thesaurus.

 

 

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Last modified: February 21, 2011