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Custom Shortcut Keys in Word 2007

Monday, July 27th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Did you have a lot of custom shortcut key combinations in your old version of Word and then feel frustrated because they were missing when you upgraded to Word 2007?

Or, for that matter, maybe you never had any custom shortcut keys but would like a few now?

Many people who I’ve worked with are a bit overwhelmed with the changes in Word 2007. In fact, since they cannot customize the Ribbon the way they used to customize the menus and toolbars from the days of old it is often assumed that there are no options for customization in Word 2007.

Well, why there aren’t as many customizations just lying around there are some.

Previously we’ve discussed customizing the Quick Access Toolbar so today I’d like to show you what’s available when it comes to customizing your keyboard shortcuts.

First, we need to go to the Office Button then click the Word Options button in the bottom right corner.

Next we’re off to the Customize category in the Word Options dialog box.


What you’ll find is the list we used for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar – it’s what’s below the list of commands that we’re in search of at this moment.

Do you see it?


Yep that’s right, the Customize button on the bottom left is labeled as “Keyboard Shortcuts“.

Obviously your next step is to click it.

The dialog box that opens is where you can set the useful key combinations you’ve been missing since moving into your new Word 2007 home.

On the left is a list of categories – pretty much broken into the tabs available in Word 2007. The categories do include the special tabs that open for pictures, tables and such so you should be able to locate anything you might want.


With a category selected you’ll find that the right list of commands changes to reflect the category choice.

Scroll through, find and select the command that you need.

The bottom portion of the dialog box becomes important at this point.


Once the command is selected you’ll see that if there is a key combination already assigned it will appear on the left.

If there isn’t one then on the right, click into the “Press new shortcut key” field and enter a key combination.

At this point, below the Current keys field you’ll find that a new piece of information has popped up.


Word lets you know what command the key combination you entered is already assigned to do. If there’s no assignment then it says unassigned.

At this point, if it’s unassigned you’re in the clear. Click the Assign button in the bottom left.

However, if it is already assigned to another command think once, twice and probably three times would be good before you choose to click the Assign button.

I, personally, always go back and change my key combination – I may wish I hadn’t overwritten Word’s default and going back to change it one by one is time consuming. There’s also the Reset All button but that undoes all of my customizations and that could be even more time consuming. So, the point is… REALLY, REALLY, REALLY be sure before you start reassigning key combinations!

Repeat this process for all commands you need and then click Close.

You’ll find yourself back to the Word Options dialog box where you can click OK and return to work.

Hopefully the work will be a bit easier using the shortcuts you just created and you’ll no longer be missing the keys you used to be so fond of using.

~ April

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