Word’s Ribbon interface is great for finding everything you might ever want to do in the word processor — particularly things you don’t do frequently, like inserting footnotes or doing a mail merge.

But if you’re looking to do common tasks fast, you’ll find keyboard shortcuts far more useful. Why bother to lift your hands from the keyboard if you want to open or close a document, apply formatting to text and paragraphs, do a spell check, navigate through a document, or undo and redo actions? With keyboard shortcuts you won’t have to.

There are keyboard shortcuts to accomplish a vast array of tasks in the Word desktop client, in both the Windows and Mac versions. (Fewer shortcuts are available for the Mac, but you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts if you like.)

We’ve listed the shortcuts we’ve found the most useful below. Most work whether you’re using a subscription (Microsoft 365/Office 365) or non-subscription version of Word. For even more shortcuts, see Microsoft’s Office site.

Note: On Macs, the key is the same as the Command or Cmd key.

Useful Word keyboard shortcuts

Looking for more help with Word for Windows? If you have an Office subscription, see “Word for Office 365/Microsoft 365 cheat sheet.” If you have a non-subscription version of Office, see “Word 2016 and 2019 cheat sheet.” We’ve also got cheat sheets for an array of other Microsoft products, including older versions of Office.

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