Editing your Word documents doesn’t have to be a slow and tedious process. The application includes many ways for you to automate small editing tasks, saving extended amounts of time. Simply learning more about these features and shortcuts can get you a step closer to becoming a Microsoft Word pro.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a way to sharpen your Excel skills, read our The Most Useful Excel Keyboard Shortcuts article. Using Excel in conjunction with Word is an extremely powerful combination with flawless integration, thanks to Microsoft 365.
How to Edit Your Word Documents Faster
Below are some useful Word tips and tricks that you can use to edit your documents faster, both during and after writing. Some of our tips help with quickly formatting as well, allowing you to reduce the time it takes to finish a project significantly.
1. Align paragraphs
Changing how you align your text can bring much-needed emphasis to your words. It’s often a great stylistic choice to switch up how you align your text inside a document.
The text alignment buttons in the Word ribbon are located inside the Home tab.
Most people select their paragraph, then use the alignment buttons located in the ribbon of Word, shown in the picture above. While this is a completely fine way to get things done, you can do it faster and save a lot of time by utilizing shortcuts.
When wanting to align your text, use the following shortcut keys to save yourself some much valuable time:
- Align right: Ctrl + R (Windows) or command + R (Mac)
- Align left: Ctrl + L (Windows) or command + L (Mac)
- Align center: Ctrl + E (Windows) or command + E (Mac)
- Align justify: Ctrl + J (Windows) or command + J (Mac)
2. Select text faster
Selecting text you’ve written is a huge part of editing and formatting Word documents. Selections tell Word where to apply formatting to, and what part of your text you want to change. This means that speeding up how you select text can be a huge time saver.
Here are some of the most useful selection keyboard shortcuts we use to make our editing process in Word much faster:
- Double-click on a word to select the entire word.
- Hold the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) key while clicking to select the entire sentence.
- Press the Ctrl + A (Windows) or Command + A (Mac) keyboard shortcut to select the entirety of your document at once.
But wait… there’s more!
The text selection in Word isn’t as monotone as you’d think it is. While most people think they can only select sentences and paragraphs horizontally, you can actually select any part of the page however you like it. After the selection, you can format that part of the text like any other.
Hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key while dragging your mouse cursor to select any parts of your text in a rectangular shape. (See the demonstration below).
3. Convert case
Some people make the mistake of writing their paragraphs in the wrong case. Perhaps you had forgotten to turn off caps lock or want to convert a sentence or paragraph into a different case. Luckily, you don’t have to do it manually. In fact, you don’t even have to leave Word to do it.
To quickly switch between cases, select some text and press the Shift + F3 (Windows) or fn + Shift + F3 (Mac) keys to cycle through capslock, caps lock, and sentence case.
4. Bold, italic, and underline formatting
Did you know that there are quick formatting hotkeys in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Actually, these formatting shortcuts work in most other word processors, as well as on the internet. If you like to format your text, you definitely need to learn about the bold, italic, and underline formatting shortcuts.
- To make your text bold, select it and press the Ctrl + B (Windows) or Command + B (Mac) keys.
- To make your text italic, select it and press the Ctrl + I (Windows) or Command + I (Mac) keys.
- To make your text underlined, select it and press the Ctrl + U (Windows) or Command + U (Mac) keys.
These formatting options can be used together as well. No one is stopping you from having bold underlined paragraphs or putting more emphasis on a word with bold italic formatting.
Another neat tip: repeating the same formatting shortcut on the already formatted text will remove the formatting.
5. Delete entire words at a time
Forget about continuously pressing the delete or backspace key until an unwanted word disappears, character by character. Instead, use this handy trick to delete entire words at a time by pressing a button.
Simply position your typing head where you want to start deleting words, then hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) and press backspace. You’ll immediately be able to see how entire words delete instead of only a single character.
On some keyboards, you can also use the Del key to remove words. The only difference is that instead of removing the previous word, this function will delete the word in front of the blinking cursor.
We hope that this article was able to help you learn more about Microsoft Word and just how powerful of a tool it is. Return to our page anytime you need further guidance regarding Microsoft’s word-processing app.
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