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Creating Custom Shortcut Keys In MS Word

Monday, November 15th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Creating Custom Shortcut Keys In MS Word

Are you a keyboard enthusiast who finds yourself constantly wishing you had a shortcut key combination for one thing or another? Maybe a keyboard combination for the “Save All” trick from Tuesday’s newsletter?

If your answer is “Yes!” and you’re a Word user then this is a tip for you. (I tried this in Excel and PowerPoint and couldn’t find it—but it’s still a great trick for MS Word!)

To begin, go to the Tools menu, Customize choice. (Or, you could right click over any toolbar and choose Customize from the bottom of the toolbar list.)

In the Customize window, go to the Commands tab.


You’re looking for the Keyboard button at the bottom of the window. Click it.

You should be taken to the Customize Keyboard window.

You need to find and highlight the function you’d like to set a keyboard shortcut for in the Categories and Commands lists (located in the upper left).


For example, to set a shortcut for “Save All,” I would select the File category and the FileSaveAll command.

At this point, take a quick look in the “Current keys” box. If something is listed there, then there is already a keyboard shortcut for that operation and you can use one of the combinations listed.

For the commands that have no shortcut key combination defined, click into the “Press new shortcut key” box then press a key combination.

Whatever keys you press will be displayed in the box below the words “Press new shortcut key.”


Just below that box, the words “Currently assigned to:” will appear. If it says unassigned then click the Assign button. (As you can see Alt+S was unassigned and with a click of the Assign button it would be assigned to the Save All command in Word on my computer.)

** If a command is reported below “Currently assigned to:” then think twice about clicking the Assign button. Be sure you really want to replace the original meaning of the keys with your new meaning.

If you want to try another combination, then hit the Backspace key and try another key combination.

At any rate, once you’ve got a previously unassigned combination that works for you, click the Assign button.

You’ll still be in the “Customize Keyboard” window, allowing you to repeat the process for another command should you choose to do so.

When you’ve made all your changes simply click the Close button.

You’ll be taken back to the Customize window where you can click the Close button there and be on your way with one major difference—you’ll have more keyboard control.

If only it were so easy to get more control over the rest of our lives.


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