by QA

Essential Word Functions You Must Know

To help you navigate Word more quickly, we've put together some top Microsoft Word shortcuts, providing quick access to some of the most commonly-used features. In addition, we've compiled a handy cheat sheet with over 100 essential shortcuts, which you can print out and keep on your desk.   


Word makes it very easy to quickly navigate your way around a document – later versions advertise that you can “pick up where you left off” when you re-open them, but Word has had this feature for years – when you open a file, immediately hit Shift+F5 to return to the last known cursor location.

You can also use this when you’re working on a document, as Word remembers the last three cursor locations, so just repeatedly press it to cycle through them.

Alternatively, press Ctrl+G to display the ‘Go To’ dialog box and enter any page number to be able to jump to it. Try entering x% where ‘x’ is a number between 1 and 100 to jump, say, halfway (50%) through the document.

Rearranging document text

Usually if we want to move the text around in a document, we select the text, Cut it, then Paste it back in where required. However, Word provides a couple of shortcuts to move the current paragraph up or down the document:

  1. Click anywhere inside the paragraph that is to be moved
  2. Press Alt+Shift+↑ or Alt+Shift+↓ until the paragraph is in the correct place

Selecting (highlighting) text

Word provides a number of ways that you can quickly select text, and these can also now be used in Outlook and PowerPoint:


  • Word: double-click the word
  • Sentence: Ctrl+ click anywhere on the sentence
  • Paragraph: triple-click anywhere in the paragraph
  • Document: press Ctrl+A


Changing case

How many times have you looked up from the keyboard and discovered that you typed the last three lines with the Caps Lock key on?

  1. Select the text that needs correcting
  2. Click HOME > Change Case > and select the required option; alternatively press Shift+F3 to flick through the most likely settings


To apply a watermark to only part of a document:

  1. Split the document into different sections – PAGE LAYOUT > Breaks > Section (Next Page)
  2. Edit the Header and Footer for the document – INSERT > Header, or INSERT > Footer
  3. Switch off ‘Link to Previous’ – HEADER AND FOOTER > Link to Previous
  4. The watermark can now be applied to any sections that need it:
  5. Word 2007/10: PAGE LAYOUT > Watermark
  6. Word 2013/16: DESIGN > Watermark

Don't forget to check out our cheat sheet for even more handy shortcuts.

Want to learn more about Word? Our Word training courses can help you improve your skills.

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