Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles.

Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 24, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


In other issues of WordTips you learn how to add styles to your document. Word also allows you to assign shortcut keys to styles. These shortcut keys can then be used to quickly apply styles to various paragraphs in your document. To define a shortcut key, do this:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Styles group. Word displays the Formatting task pane at the right side of the screen.
  3. In the list of styles, hover the mouse pointer over the name of the style whose shortcut key you want to change. A drop-down arrow should appear at the right of the style name.
  4. Click the down arrow and choose Modify. The Modify Style dialog box appears. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. Click on Format, then choose Shortcut Key from the resulting menu. The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears, with the insertion key blinking in the Press New Shortcut Key box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  8. Press the key combination you want used to apply this style. Note that any current assignments for that key combination appear just below what you typed.
  9. When you are satisfied with your definition, click on Assign, then on Close.
  10. Click on OK to dismiss the Modify Style dialog box.
  11. To define shortcut keys for other styles, repeat steps 3 through 8.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5948) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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