Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 23, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


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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. (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, and 2016. 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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Comments

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What is seven minus 5?

2020-06-23 12:12:29

Ann C

Side note to Phillip on his comment: took me a few rereads as well. You go to the "Format" dropdown in the lower left corner of the modify style screen, where you would choose Font, Paragraph, etc. Shortcut Key is the second last in my version (Word 2010).


2018-11-29 05:45:33

B W Officer

I get stuck on step 6. I can't find a combination that's not already used. I don't want to overwrite any current shortcut assignments just in case I might regret it in the future.


2018-11-12 08:34:54

pascal lessard

Hello Allen,

Why is it that evertime I open my custom styles file .dotm to modify the content I have to redo always my shotcut keys ?

This is not in the normal. dotm but a custom file called devispra2019.dotm

Thanks


2016-06-07 12:07:49

Tom Peers

Is this just for this doc or global?


2016-06-06 11:31:01

Moray

Point of interest, I've found that if you delete a style which had a shortcut, the shortcut is *not* deleted - so that if when you try to use that shortcut for another style, Word is confused may not react to the shortcut at all.


2016-06-06 09:20:38

Philip Ulanowsky

Allen,
I can not figure out how you got from modifying Normal to creating a shortcut key for Strikethrough from the All Commands list. I am familiar with styles and shortcuts. What am I missing here?

There is also the ability, as you surely know, to create a style shortcut by using a comma and letter(s) after the style name, e.g., Exhibit_title,et, which is then activated from the style box, [Ctrl+Shift+S].


2016-06-06 06:02:50

Ann Seri

Thank you for the tip on shortcuts for styles!! Great.


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