Sunday, May 20, 2012

Word Ribbon Keyboard Shortcuts

Newer versions of Word have moved from a menu to a ribbon that functions in a different way. For example, have you tapped your Alt key while cruising along and had all sorts of letters turn up on your ribbon? If you kept typing, you probably had a dialog appear that you had to cancel out of because you typed a letter that picked a menu option on the ribbon. This functionality is new in Word 2007/2010 and is geared toward anybody who is crazy for keyboard shortcuts (read touch typist). Here's how it works.  
  • Tap the Alt key on your keyboard to display the letters in square boxes. 
  • Look at the letters associated with each ribbon (F=File; H = Home; etc.)
  • Type the letter of the ribbon you want to display. For example, type H to display the Home ribbon. 
  • Look at the's littered with letters and numbers in square boxes. 
  • Type the letter or number. Depending on the option you picked, you display a dialog or initiate an action.
    --Pick a ribbon option with a drop-down arrow and you get a dialog.
    --Pick a ribbon option without a drop-down arrow and you get an action
    (For example, bold turns on and when you type your text is in bold font). 

If you customized a Quick Access Toolbar, be sure to notice that when you tap Alt Word adds numbers to the buttons you've added to the toolbar too. Type a number to display a dialog or initiate an action.

Want it all to just go away? Click once anywhere in the body of your document or tap the ESC key and it all dissolves.

It's All About Real Estate...
Speaking of dissolving...Want to get rid of the ribbon altogether and get more screen real estate?

  • Look on the right of your screen beside the Help question mark just below the X that closes your document. You're looking for a small inverted V (caret) that is a toggle. 
  • Click the caret and the ribbon disappears...rolls up into menu options and the inverted V turns into a regular V. 
  • Click a menu option to display just one ribbon. Click a button on the ribbon. Word displays a dialog or completes an action...and hides the ribbon again. 
To restore the ribbon, click the V in the upper right of your screen and it's baaaack.

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