Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Keyed Up in Word

Did you know you can create and assign your own shortcut keys in Word? This is different from creating a macro, which records a series of steps and then plays them back when you press the assigned key combination. You can actually customize your keyboard shortcuts and remove ones you don't like and add ones you do. This comes in handy when you want to assign a feature you use a lot (such as Web Page Preview) to an easy-to-reach key combination.

To assign your own custom shortcut key, choose Tools > Customize and click the Keyboard button at the bottom of the Options tab. In the Categories area, click the name of the menu containing the command you'd like to shortcut (for me, that's File); or, scroll through the list and click All Commands to display all the commands in the list. Next, scroll in the Commands list to find the command you want to assign to the shortcut combination (in my case, that's WebPagePreview). If shortcut keys are already assigned to that command, they will appear in the Current Keys window. Click in the Press New Shortcut Key field and press the keys you want to assign to the command. (I used Alt+Ctrl+I because I found that FilePrintPreview had two shortcut keys, so I appropriated the second one for Web Preview.) Click the Save Changes In down-arrow and tell Word whether you want to save this change int he current document or the default template; then click Assign once and Close twice to return to your document. Your new shortcut will be fully functional from here on out.

Later, if you want to remove the shortcut key, display the Customize Keyboard dialog box again (Tools > Customize > Options > Keyboard); then scroll to the command you want to change and click the shortcut in the Current Keys window. The Remove button in the bottom of the dialog box becomes available; you can click it to nix your shortcut. And of course, if you go hog wild and really goof up all your shortcuts, you can erase them and go back to your default settings by clicking Reset All. Might as well have a little fun first. (Just don't tell your boss next April Fool's Day that this is where you learned how to reset all his shortcut keys.) :) k

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