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: Resetting a Single Shortcut Key.

Resetting a Single Shortcut Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2017)

If you have defined custom shortcut keys in Word, you may at some point want to get rid of one of your previously defined shortcuts. Word makes it easy to remove all of your custom shortcuts (as described in other WordTips), but you may want to only reset the purpose of a single shortcut key. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box select either the Customize option (Word 2007) or the Customize Ribbon option (Word 2010, 2013, and 2016).
  3. Click the Customize button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  5. Position the insertion point in the Press New Shortcut Key text box.
  6. Press the shortcut key you want to reset. For instance, if you want to reset Ctrl+B, then press Ctrl+B. Just below the Current Keys text box you should see the name of the active Word function that is currently using this shortcut. (If you don't see anything there, then it is not currently in use.) Make note of the function.
  7. Using the Categories and Commands lists, locate the function you noted in step 5. You will know you have the right function when the shortcut key you want to reset shows up in the Current Keys list.
  8. Within the Current Keys list, select the shortcut key you want to reset.
  9. Click on the Remove button. Word removes shortcut key definition.
  10. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  11. Click on Cancel to dismiss the Word Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6094) 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: Resetting a Single Shortcut Key.

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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