It can be terribly frustrating when using Microsoft Office packages, if you do not know some of these editing shortcuts and timesavers. There are often 2 or 3 ways of doing the same task. Here are some hints and tips to use with packages like Word, Excel and PowerPoint more effectively.

1. Selecting text.

Instead of using the mouse to click and drag to highlight and select text here are some quicker options.

Double left click in a word to select it. In this example we double clicked the word 'labore' eg Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

CTRL + left click in a sentence to select it. In this example if you hold CTRL and left click anywhere in the sentence the whole sentence (to the next full stop). eg Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Treble left click in a paragraph to select it. In this example we treble clicked anywhere in the sentence and this highlighted the whole paragraph

eg

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur

CTRL + A Here if we press CTRL + A together it highlights everything in the document in Word or everything in the current Sheet or Slide in Excel & PowerPoint. Caution here do not then accidently press delete or a key as this will delete text!!

2. Use Show/Hide.
On the toolbar in Word there is a button which looks like this ¶. One way to describe what this does is to say that this shows the keystrokes, paragraphs and formatting you have used. The best example of how this can help is for those of you who find an annoying and unwanted 'extra' page at the end of Word document, then by turning on show/hide (ie clicking the ¶ button) you will see that there will be ¶ symbol on the new page, simply select it and delete it.

So turning on ¶ shows when you have pressed the Return Key, Space Bar, Tab Key, this is useful as it also aids alignment of text. These do not 'print' when you print the document. Typical symbols you will be shown are:

¶ = paragraph - shown when return pressed

° = space from web text

· = shows space - when space bar pressed

→ = shows tab space - when the TAB key is pressed

3. Change autosave.
A lot of work can be acheived in 10 minutes, in that time we often forget to save the work as we go (so first of all get into the habit of saving as you go! To do this press CTRL + S). That said, if you forget and your system crashes you can lose a lot of work. So make sure that you have the Autosave function in Word/Excel/PowerPoint set up correctly. The default setting is to autosave every 10 minutes, we recommend you change that to 1 minute, this makes a background save, that you should see if for example Word crashes, it will load up a 'last autosaved version'.

To change this depends on what version of Microsoft Office you are using.

MS Office 2016 -

1. In Word/Excel/Powerpoint, click FILE upper-left corner.

2. Click Options on the left side.

3. Click the Save button on the left side.

4. Check/Uncheck the Save AutoRecover information every box or make changes to the information as needed.

MS Office 2007 and 2010 -

1. In Word/Excel/Powerpoint, click the Office button in the upper-left corner.

2. Click Options on the left side.

3. Click the Save button on the left side.

4. Check/Uncheck the Save AutoRecover information every box or make changes to the information as needed.

Earlier versions on MS Office

1. Click “Word/Excel/Powerpoint Options”.
2. Click “Save” (it’s on the left pane).
3. Check the box to save every x minutes.
4. Set the frequency you want the data to be saved.

4. Using key short cuts.
For some, using the keyboard rather than the mouse can save time. Here is a list of the short cut keys available in Microsoft Office packages, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

DOWNLOAD Microsoft Office Tips ShortCuts

About the author

phil laviolettephil laviolette

Hi!, I'm Phil LaViolette, Founder and Owner of evalu8d. I created resourcily to share hints, tips and resources I've collected over 20 years of training and coaching, across lots of industries and at all levels. I hope that, even in a small way, you gain from the tools I share!
Phil