Being Efficient: 3 Tips to be the Fastest Editor in Microsoft Word

Documentation is one of the most essential parts of a good team and yet can also be the most time consuming. You have many opinions, tons of formatting issues, and the endless editing and upkeep of the document. It is a pain when you have better things you could be working on. I am a decent writer, but I do consider myself one of the fastest editors. Why? Because I some tricks up my sleeve. And I’m willing to share them with you!

Intermediate User:

    1. Copy, Past, Undo, Redo
      • We’ll start with the classics. Almost all users are familiar with Ctrl+Z for undo, Ctrl+C for copy selected text/area, and Ctrl+V for paste. The ones you may not be as familiar with are Ctrl+X which is cut (so copies and removes), and Ctrl+Y for redo.
    2. Ctrl + Tab and Windows key + tab
      • Switching between PowerPoint, Excel, and Word a lot? These two are key for jumping between windows. Ctrl + Tab is a simple way that displays the program icon. Widows key + tab does the same thing but in a 3-D way showing a preview of each window. Both effective, one is just a bit fancier and the keys are right next to each other.
    3. Windows key + L
      • This is the shortcut to lock your computer. I don’t know about your office, but if you walk away and leave your computer unattended, it may get hacked. And by hacked I mean playful IM messages or emails sent by “you” by a inconspicuous user. Always safe than sorry unless you like to be the butt of a joke… or worse.

Advanced User:

  1. Ctrl + arrow
    • While in a word document, don’t you reread and find spelling errors, grammar fixes, and other changes that are in the middle of a paragraph? This one lets you jump around the document without using the mouse. Ctrl + arrow left or right jumps to the next word. I love this keyboard shortcut. It allows you to insert a word into a sentence quickly!
  2. Ctrl + Shift + arrow
    • My personal favorite, this extension to the above has completely changed the way I type. I hardly ever use the mouse with these shortcuts – so much so that even with my touch screen it’s less efficient. It allows you to jump between words while selecting the words. Fantastic for replacing a word or phrase, cut and pasting a section to another location, and
  3. Windows key + arrow
    • This one is the keyboard equivalent of the Windows 7 drag to an edge and and snap to size feature. It is great for viewing two windows side by side for multitasking or rekeying. What takes this shortcut to the next level though is that it works when windows are off your screen. So if that top bar is in a place you can’t grab with your mouse, you can rescue it to your main screen.
  4. Ctrl + ;
    • This one is a winner for those PMs that struggle in Excel (or Google Sheets), this one will enter in today‘s date. Want to quickly denote a task as completed today? Ctrl + ; will quickly enter 05/31/2016.

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