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Microsoft Word Template Shortcuts

Our Word Templates include a number of shortcuts to simply style selection, cross-referencing and text insertion. The shortcuts are implemented in the Core Library template. If you place a shortcut to this template in your Word startup folder, these shortcuts will be available to all your documents.

Three shortcut groups are defined: Styles, Cross-reference and Insert. Chord shortcuts are used throughout. So, for example, Ctrl + H , means press the control key, then H, release both then press and release 1.

Pressing Ctrl + T will select the Tech Writer ribbon (Windows only). You do not need to select the Tech Writer tab to use the other shortcuts, however.

The shortcut keys were chosen to avoid, commonly used, Word features or features that aren’t useful to folk using templates. Ctrl + H (Styles) replaces the replace dialog, Ctrl + R (cross reference) replaces right justify paragraph and Ctrl + J replaces fully justify paragraph. Ctrl + T replaces hanging indent.

Style Shortcuts

Shortcuts to apply styles share a common prefix: Ctrl + H . This prefix replaces the standard Word shortcut to show the Replace dialog, however the replace dialog can still be easily accessed using Ctrl + F .

Heading 1ParagraphCtrl + H, 1
Heading 2ParagraphCtrl + H, 2
Heading 3ParagraphCtrl + H, 3
Body TextParagraphCtrl + H, B or
Ctrl + H, N
Body FirstParagraphCtrl + H, F
Body Text ContinuationParagraphCtrl + H, Shift + B or
Ctrl + H, Shift + N
PictureParagraphCtrl + H, P
CaptionParagraphCtrl + H, T
Code InlineCharacterCtrl + H, C
Code BlockParagraphCtrl + H, Shift + C
Monospace inlineCharacterCtrl + H, M
Monospace ParagraphParagraphCtrl + H, Shift + M
Don't SpellCharacterCtrl + H, D
EquationParagraphCtrl + H, E

Cross Reference Shortcuts

Three shortcuts are available for inserting cross-references:

  • Ctrl + R, F: insert a figure reference
  • Ctrl + R, T: insert a table reference
  • Ctrl + R, E: insert an equation reference

In each case, a prompt appears for the figure or table number. Type the caption number for the table or figure desired and press enter. A standard Word cross-reference is inserted.


  1. The Ctrl + R prefix replaces Word’s standard shortcut for applying right justified paragraph formatting. However, this shortcut is not needed when styles are used.
  2. If you don’t get the expected cross-reference text, you may need to update the captions in your document. Select Update all fields from the Template menu to update the caption and cross-reference text.
  3. Cross-referencing works only if you use standard Word captions. The short-cuts below can insert standard captions, or you can selection Caption from Word’s Insert menu.

Insert Shortcuts

The insert shortcut group always starts with Ctrl + J . Note: that is J, not an I. Ctrl + I toggles italic text. The Ctrl + J shortcut replaces Word’s standard shortcut for applying full justification to the current paragraph. However, this shortcut is not useful when styles are used.

InsertedStyle AppliedShortcut
Figure caption Caption Ctrl + J, F
Figure caption Caption Top Ctrl + J, Shift + F
Table caption Caption Ctrl + J, T
Table caption Caption Top Ctrl + J, Shift + T
Equation Number Equation Ctrl + J, E

Miscellaneous Shortcuts

These are standard Word shortcuts that you may find useful.

Toggle hidden characters (paragraph marks, spaces, tabs etc) Ctrl +Shift + 8
Cut Ctrl + X
Copy Ctrl + C
Paste Ctrl + V
Reset character to paragraph style Ctrl + Space
Insert non-breaking space Ctrl +Shift + Space
Insert footnote Ctrl + F
Insert endnote Ctrl + D