Category Archives: Keyboard shortcuts

Which keyboard shortcuts should I learn?

Many people ask me to give them a secret list of most powerful keyboard shortcuts. They think knowing more shortcuts is the same as being more efficient. Unfortunately, it is not. Read this 3 min article to understand how to find out the shortcuts you need and how to learn them in a simple manner without stressing yourself.

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Continue reading Which keyboard shortcuts should I learn?

Picture Blog: Insert Attachment

insert attachment shortcut

Yes. This LONG “short”cut actually works. Try it. In fact, just press Alt and choose the highlighted buttons in the Ribbon. All of them work. Just press and release Alt and then press buttons one by one. DON’T try some Yoga poses with your fingers Smile

With Outlook 2016, This shortcut is now Alt N AF B. This is required because it offers to attach files from local PC as well as web locations (OneDrive). It also shows recently inserted attachments.

Picture Blog

Slide Master in one click

slide master view in one click - Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Shift click the Slide View (Normal button) and you can jump to the slide master for the current slide. Very useful. To come back to the slide, just click on the same icon. Very useful. First Shift click goes to the current slide –  layout master. ANOTHER Shift Click takes to to the overall slide master (theme slide master). Very nice. I discovered this just now! Shift Ctrl click on it gives you only the slide. Notes and thumbnails are removed. Shift ALT click gives slide layout master without thumbnails. Another Shift ALT click gives the overall slide master without thumbnails… I am sure there is more but I am mentally saturated now Disappointed smile

Just discovered: Handy shortcut for editing layout master in PowerPoint

This is a short post. But it is very nice and useful. I found it recently… I don’t know if this is documented – I did not check.

While editing presentations, we often need to edit the layout master and / or the slide master. I just found a very quick way to do so.

shortcut for editing layout master in powerpoint - dr. nitin paranjape

Continue reading Just discovered: Handy shortcut for editing layout master in PowerPoint

Useful keyboard shortcuts in Word

useful keyboard shortcuts in Word by Dr. Nitin Paranjape


Keyboard shortcuts for Word

Before you use these shortcuts, please read this article: How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some shortcuts which I have found useful. DO NOT try to memorize the shortcuts. Only if you use the functionality frequently you need to find or create and remember the shortcut.


Download a one page Word file


Triple Click Triple click anywhere in a paragraph to select the entire paragraph.
Shift Alt Up / Down arrow Press Shift Alt Up / Down arrow to move entire paragraphs up or down. Also works with multiple selected paragraphs and PowerPoint bullets.
Ctrl A Select Entire Document
PrintScreen

(PrtScr)

Copy a picture of entire screen to the Clipboard. Ctrl V to paste it.

Use Alt PrtScr to copy only the active window image.

Ctrl Alt 1 / 2 / 3 Apply style Heading 1, 2 or 3
Ctrl Click Selects the current Sentence.
Ctrl Scroll

(Wheel)

Pressing CTRL key while moving the mouse wheel zooms in / out. Works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Internet Explorer and many other products.
Ctrl U

Ctrl Y

Ctrl Z = Undo last action

Ctrl Y = Redo last action

Supports 100 levels of undo / redo by default.

Ctrl Shift

> or <

Increase or decrease font size of the selected text.
Ctrl Alt V Paste Special. Provides many options to paste copied content in different formats.

Ctrl V does default paste.

Ctrl Shift V Paste only formatting from the source (Press Ctrl Shift C to copy).

Equivalent to the toolbar button called Format Painter

CTRL PgDn

Or PgUp

If pressed after Finding some text, finds next or previous occurances of the found item being searched for.
Ctrl Shift N Apply Normal Style.

Useful when you want to remove all unwanted formatting and revert the text to regular body text quickly.

Ctrl Alt I Switch to Print Preview
Ctrl Alt M Insert a comment for the selected text or current position in text.
Ctrl Backspace / Ctrl Del Delete
one word to the
left (Ctrl Backspace) or
right(Ctrl Del)

Copy Paste – Part 13 – A better shortcut for Paste Special

Most common ways of invoking Paste Special are:

  • Alt E S keyboard shortcut
    This was the older (2003 or before) version shortcut – Alt E = Edit Menu, S was the hotkey for Paste Special
  • Open the dropdown of Paste in Home tab in the ribbon and choose Paste Special
  • Right click – Paste Special

A better shortcut

Although all these methods work, Microsoft added a NEW shortcut since Office 2007. Most people don’t discover it. The shortcut is

Paste special shortcut

Why should you use this shortcut?

The reason is simple. Paste Special is a variation of Paste. Paste shortcut is CTRL V. For Paste Special CTRL ALT V is more intuitive. It is definitely better than using mouse anyway.

But there is more to it.

Compare the actual act of pressing the older shortcut –

Paste special shortcut

On the fact of it, there are three keys to be pressed in either case. So what is the difference?

Let me show you the difference using a keyboard layout.

You try pressing Alt E S using left hand and see the position of fingers.

Now compare it with CTRL V and CTRL ALT V

Usually we press CTRL key using little finger and V using index finger. The middle finger is anyway resting near ALT key. Look at the photo on left side – I have intentionally flexed the middle finger to expose the Alt key.

You just have to decide is it Paste or Paste Special at the last moment. If it is paste, don’t press the middle finger, if it is paste special – just press the middle finger (right side photo)

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Another alternative is little finger for Ctrl, Index finger for V and thumb for Alt – which is also convenient. You try it out yourself and choose the method which is most comfortable to you.

This is ergonomics!

Imagine the amount of effort the Office team is taking to make our life easier and healthier… it is just that we simply don’t notice these things and therefore are not able to utilize the products effectively.

By the way, the imageshortcut works across ALL Office products. Including Project and Visio.

No Paste Special option in OneNote. Why?

It does not work for OneNote because OneNote does not have Paste Special functionality at all. It does not mean that you cannot choose the paste format in OneNote. It does offer four paste options as expected:

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In that case, the question is – why did Microsoft not choose a default format for paste and provide Paste Special in OneNote (like all other products)? Just to avoid a Paste Special dialog? That does not sound like a good reason.

This is my guess but I think that is the logical explanation.

The reason OneNote does not have two separate options – Paste and Paste Special – because :

  1. OneNote is used for various types of copy paste from diverse sources. And it is a comparatively new product – and most people don’t even know that it exists – even if they have it installed! Therefore, Microsoft did not / could not finalize a default format based upon common user behavior pattern.
  2. If you have started right clicking instead of Paste or Paste Special – as recommended in my earlier article, you will realize that the demarcation between paste and paste special is simply irrelevant.

Next article

Although the Copy Paste series is far from over, I will deviate from it and show you how to find useful keyboard shortcuts and reduce the damage to your wrist and tendons (which can happen due to excessive usage of mouse, among other things).

Copy Paste – Part 12 – Reorder Content with Shift Alt Up/Down

The need

We often write in the order in which it comes to our mind. We then tend to reorder content by copy pasting it. There is a better method.

Just remember these very powerful shortcuts

Reorder content - keyboard shortcut for moving a bullet, line, paragraph, table row

Shift Alt Up / Down Arrow

Whenever you write content or text with paragraphs, in any Office product, you can use the Shift Alt Up and Down arrows to move it up or down.

This works with:

  1. Word paragraphs. DO NOT select the paragraph. Just click inside and use the shortcut
  2. Word Tables – reordering table rows is extremely painful if done manually. Try this shortcut and you will curse yourself for not knowing it for so many years!
  3. Word Outline view to reorder entire Headings or Sub-headings (provided these are collapsed)
  4. PowerPoint bullets
  5. PowerPoint SmartArt Text Editor
  6. Outlook (because it uses Word as the editor)
  7. OneNote
  8. It does NOT work with PowerPoint tables. Because these are more of graphical elements and not formal tables.
  9. Excel is a grid – therefore this method does not in Excel as well.

Shift Alt Right and Left Arrow

This is even more powerful.

Word

In case of Word, by pressing Shift Alt Left arrow, you actually promote the heading style – or apply Heading1 Style.

If you use Shift Alt Right arrow, it demotes the style (and outline level)

This is the fastest way of creating documents with styles. No need to click on styles or use keyboard shortcuts which are more complex (Ctrl Alt 1 2 or 3).

PowerPoint

Like Word, it can be used for promoting and demoting bullets.

Usually to create sub-level bullets we use TAB key. But that works just after a fresh new bullet is added. If you are somewhere in the middle of a paragraph, pressing TAB key will actually insert a tab and increase spacing.

However, Shift Alt Left / Right arrows work irrespective of where your cursor is.

Now the most powerful usage in PowerPoint is to edit hierarchical information in SmartArt Editor. Try to insert a SmartArt of type – Hierarchy – choose some Org Chart and then go to the editor. You can easily promote or demote items very quickly using this shortcut key.

Try these simple yet powerful shortcuts. Let me know your feedback. If you find more uses for this shortcut, do let me know.