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: Jumping Back in a Long Document.

Jumping Back in a Long Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 4, 2017)


If you are editing a long document and you need to temporarily refer to another place in the document, you can use this tip to make yourself more productive. There are two ways you can jump back and forth in your document.

First, you can use the scroll bars to view the other parts of the document. The insertion point is still at your old editing position, even though it is off-screen. When you are through viewing the part of the document you needed to refer to, press one of the arrow keys or any printable character (including the Space Bar). You will be taken back to the exact place you were editing. Of course, if you pressed a printable character you will need to delete it.

The other method is to use Shift+F5. This key combination is used to jump to the last three places in the document where you made edits. (Actually, it is four locations if you count the one where you first pressed Shift+F5.) You can press it once and you will return to where you were most recently editing.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10646) 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: Jumping Back in a Long Document.

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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What is 5 + 9?

2017-11-07 16:31:17

Jeanie Woodruff

A long document is likely to have headings and perhaps even subheadings. If so, you can (and should!) apply heading styles to those headings and subheadings. Then press control-F for "find" to open the Navigation panel on the left. Click on the Headings "tab" within the Navigation panel and you'll see all of your headings and subheadings, like a mini Table of Contents. They're clickable and will take you to whatever heading you click, within the document. If your screen is wide enough, you can leave the Navigation panel up, for easy transitioning back and forth within the document.

Also - similar to the split document, you can click View > New Window to open a duplicate window of your document, which you can move to be side by side with your original window. Both are the same document, so you can scroll and search in one, and even make changes there that will be reflected in the second window. A little more visible "real estate" than the split screen, but otherwise works just like it.

2017-11-07 07:30:24

Jennifer Thomas

BTW, that Shift+F5 command is also a great way to 'pick up where you left off' - if you open a document and immediately press Shift+F5, it jumps to the last place edited before you saved.

2017-11-06 09:56:56

Jennifer Thomas

I also find it handy to add the Back button to my toolbar - nice for jumping between a TOC reference and its target (also for Cross Reference verification).

2017-11-04 18:10:23


A third method is to split the document window, so you can see two parts of the document at the same time. You can then easily move the cursor from one part to the other and back again to copy and paste, for example.

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