Sometimes if you’re in the middle of typing a compelling scene, it can be annoying to have to stop and take hold of the mouse in order to change something in your document, or save it.
Even if you prefer using your mouse, there are a number of keyboard commands you can make use of to save yourself time.
I’ve memorized the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-s (Hold down the Control key and press "s") for save, because it means I don’t have to stop typing and pick up the mouse to save my document. Usually I save my document at the end of a sentence, or whenever I stop to think for a bit.
I also italicise my characters’ thoughts and I find it much easier to use Ctrl-i at the start and end of a thought. It means I don’t have to stop pounding the keyboard while I’m in “voice”, and I also don’t have editing problems with thoughts remaining in ordinary text because I’ve missed them while formatting later on.
There are a number of handy keyboard shortcuts that can help keep you typing. These are some of the more popular shortcut commands:
(Mac users - the Control key is called "Command" on your Mac keyboard)
|Ctrl-F2||Toggles between Print Preview screen and Page/Print Layout or Normal View|
|Shift-F3||Toggles selection between lower case, initial upper case, and full upper case.|
|F4||Repeat the last action|
|Ctrl-F4||Close the current window|
|Alt-F4||Shut down MS Word, or other Office applications|
|F5||Go To Command|
|Ctrl-F6||Toggle between open documents in MS Word|
|F8||Extend a selection|
|F12||Calls up the Save As dialog box|
|Ctrl-n||Create a new document|
|Ctrl-o||Open a document|
|Ctrl-s||Save a document (will save changes over original document)|
|Ctrl-p||Calls up the Print dialog box|
|Ctrl-c||Copy selected text to the clipboard|
|Ctrl-x||Cut selected text to the clipboard|
|Ctrl-v||Paste clipboard contents to the insertion point|
|Ctrl-b||Bold the selected text|
|Ctrl-u||Underline the selected text|
|Ctrl-i||Italicise the selected text|
|Ctrl-z||Undo an action|
|Ctrl-y||Redo or repeat an action|
|Ctrl-1||Single Line Spacing|
|Ctrl-2||Double Line Spacing|
|Ctrl-Enter||Insert a Page Break|
If you find you prefer to use the keyboard to the mouse, you can find more keyboard shortcuts by requesting “Shortcut keys” from Help or Word’s office assistant. Print out a list and keep it on your desk, or stick it to your monitor or keyboard. You will be amazed at how quickly these stick in your memory.
Copyright © Elsa Neal, 2005.