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How to Issue Word Commands

To tell a program—any program—what to do, you issue commands. Microsoft Word gives you many ways to issue commands: clicking the command’s button, using keyboard shortcuts, using the Mini toolbar, using the Context menu, or using dialog boxes, and—if you are using a touch-sensitive screen—touching the screen. Choose the method that is appropriate and seems the most comfortable to you.

The Mouse

For most of the instructions in this tutorial, I will ask you to click the command button with the mouse. Generally speaking, this method consists of selecting the text or object you want to modify, clicking the tab you want to choose, and then clicking the button on the Ribbon that corresponds to the command you want to issue. If a menu or dialog box appears, continue clicking until you issue the command. If you are using a touchscreen, follow the same steps, using the touchscreen-equivalent to clicking with the mouse.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts

A keyboard shortcut is a predefined series of key presses that allow you to issue a command without taking your hands off the keyboard. Start a keyboard shortcut by pressing the Alt key; then press the letter or number that appears next to the appropriate Quick Access toolbar or Ribbon option. Either the command is issued or another set of letters and numbers appears. If another set of letters and numbers appears, keep pressing letters or numbers until you issue the command.

Use a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Select the item on which you want to perform an action.
  2. Press the Alt key.
  3. Press the letter or number that represents the command you want to issue.
  4. Press additional letters and numbers, if necessary.

Shortcut Keys

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, Word has a list of predefined shortcut keys. With these, select the text or object you want to apply a command to and then press the key combination; Word issues the command. For example, the command Ctrl+B bolds; so, if you want to bold, select the text and then hold down the Ctrl key while you press the letter B.

You can create a document that lists all of the Word shortcut keys. The list will consist of three columns: Command Name, Modifiers, and Key. The Command Name column describes the shortcut key’s function. You combine the Modifier and Key columns to get your shortcut key. For example, if you want to bold, the table shows Bold in the Command Name column, Ctrl+ in the Modifier column, and B in the Key column. Therefore, the key combination you need to press is Ctrl+B.

Create a Document That Lists Shortcut Keys

  1. Choose the View tab.
  2. Click the down-arrow under Macros in the Macros group. A menu appears.
  3. Click View Macros. The Macros dialog box opens.
  4. Click the down-arrow next to the Macros In field and then click Word Commands.
  5. Click ListCommands in the Macro Name box. Use the scroll bar to move up and down the list.
  6. Click Run. The List Commands dialog box opens.
  7. Select Current Keyboard Settings.
  8. Click OK. Word creates a new document with a list of the available built-in keyboard shortcuts.

The Mini Toolbar and Context Menu

The Mini toolbar and Context menu give quick access to frequently used commands. They appear whenever you right-click in the text area. The Mini toolbar and Context menu are context sensitive. That means what appears on them depends on what you are working on at the time. For example, what appears on the Mini toolbar when you are working on text differs from what appears on the Mini toolbar when you are working on an image.

Use the Mini Toolbar and Context Menu

  1. Select the text or object on which you want to perform an action.
  2. Right-click. The Mini toolbar and Context menu appear.
  3. Click the button or menu item that represents the command you want to issue.
  4. Click additional options, until Word executes the command you want to execute.

Dialog Box Launchers

In the bottom-right corner of a command group, you may see a dialog box launcher . Click the dialog box launcher to open a dialog box or pane where you can issue commands. Generally, more sophisticated and less frequently used commands appear in dialog boxes.

Backstage View

Microsoft Word has two parts: the Word Window and Backstage view. Use the Word Window to create and edit your document. Use Backstage view to manage files. Click the File tab, located in the upper-left corner of the of the Word window, to go to Backstage view where you can open a new file, open an existing file, save a file, print a file, set Word options, and perform other tasks. To return to the Word window, click the back-arrow in the upper-left corner or press the Esc key.

Go to Backstage View

  • Choose the File tab. Word moves to Backstage view.

Return to the Word Window

  • Press the Esc key. Word moves to the Word window.

Or

  • Click the back-arrow. Word moves to the Word window.

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