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: Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut.

Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2022)

Word makes it easy to assign keyboard shortcuts to a variety of purposes. The two most common things assigned to shortcut keys are macros and built-in Word commands. It is possible, however, to assign a keyboard shortcut to an item and then later regret the assignment. For instance, you might assign a macro to the shortcut Ctrl+~ (the tilde symbol). However, this is a built-in shortcut for typing a letter with a tilde on top, most often used in foreign languages. Of course, if you later discover you need the built-in shortcut, you may wonder how to restore the keyboard shortcut to its intended purpose, rather than running the macro.

This is a relatively easy task. Basically, you need to follow the same steps you followed in order to assign the macro to the shortcut, with one important change. Here's what to do:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Customize (Word 2007) or Customize Ribbon (Word 2010 and later versions). (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Customize Ribbon options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. At the bottom of the dialog box click Customize, next to the Keyboard Shortcuts label. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  6. In the Categories list, choose Macros.
  7. In the Macros list, choose the macro you previously assigned to the Ctrl+~ shortcut. The shortcut should now show up in the Current Keys list.
  8. In the Current Keys list, click the Ctrl+~ shortcut.
  9. Click the Remove button.
  10. Click Close, then close the Word Options dialog box as well.

The shortcut should now be removed from the macro and it (the shortcut) again resumes doing its previous duty.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10476) 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: Restoring a Keyboard Shortcut.

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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