Customizing Word’s Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2011 for Mac - dummies

Customizing Word’s Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Mac OS X has its own keyboard shortcuts in addition to Word’s keyboard shortcuts. When you press a key or a key combination, Mac OS X searches first to see whether a task is assigned to that shortcut in Mac OS X system preferences. If you want to use a particular keyboard shortcut in Word, you have to check to make sure that your desired shortcut isn’t already assigned to do something else by Mac OS X.

Showing keyboard shortcuts

Apple has a lot of nice keyboard shortcuts already defined for Mac OS X, and you can easily get a complete list of them:

  1. In Finder (the Desktop), choose Help→Mac Help.

  2. In the Ask a Question search box, type shortcuts and then press Return or Enter.

    Help responds with a list of relevant topics.

Likewise, Word also has a generous assortment of keyboard shortcuts right from the start. The shortcuts in Word are available by searching Word’s Help for Keyboard Shortcuts. You can set up Word so that it automatically displays keyboard shortcuts in menus and toolbar ScreenTips:

  1. In Word, choose View→Toolbars→Customize Toolbars and Menus from the menu bar.

  2. On the Toolbars and Menus tab of the resultant dialog, select the Show Shortcut Keys in Screen Tips check box.

  3. Click OK.

Making your own shortcuts

You can assign keyboard shortcuts to Word commands and change the ones that Microsoft assigned. Word doesn’t force you to stick with the default shortcuts. You can assign and reassign shortcuts as you wish. To access the Customize Keyboard dialog and set a keyboard shortcut, take these steps:

  1. Choose Tools→Customize Keyboard.

  2. In the Categories list, select a category, and in the Command list, choose a command.

  3. To assign (or reassign) a keyboard shortcut for the selected command, type in a customized keyboard shortcut combination for the selected command and then click the Assign button.

  4. Click OK twice.

Save a document with one or more custom shortcuts as a template so that when you open that template, the keyboard shortcuts you customized apply only to the documents created from that template.