Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Direction Arrows Confused.

Direction Arrows Confused

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 18, 2017)

1

Pat reports that something really strange has happened with one of her Word documents. For some reason, the arrow keys have become confused. Pressing the left arrow moves the cursor right, while right goes left. Similarly, pressing the up arrow moves the cursor down and the down arrow moves it up.

The first thing you'll want to do is to open the document on a different system to see if the problem is evident there, as well. If it is, then you know that the problem is with the document itself. If it is not, then the problem is with the original system.

If this behavior is evident in only a single document, then there are only a limited number of reasons as to why it could be happening. The first thing to check is whether there are any macros associated with the document. It could be that the macros redefine the behavior of the arrow keys. If that is the case, then you can delete or edit the macros to make the behavior change.

The other possible cause is that the document is corrupted in some manner. Corrupt documents can display all sorts of strange behaviors, including keyboard quirks. If you suspect this is the case, then you'll need to go through some rather standard steps for dealing with corrupt documents. (How you handle corrupt documents has been discussed in other issues of WordTips.)

If the problem is with the computer itself, then you might try swapping out the keyboard for a new one to see if that takes care of the problem.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11464) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Direction Arrows Confused.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting Footnotes

Footnotes appear at the bottom (or foot) of each page. It is an easy task to insert a footnote at any point you desire, as ...

Discover More

AutoFill Won't Work as Expected

AutoFill is a great tool for filling cells with data. What do you do when it doesn't work like you expect, however? Here's ...

Discover More

Matching At the Beginning or End of a Word

The pattern matching capabilities of Word's search engine are quite powerful. You can tailor your search pattern so that ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Arranging Document Windows

When you have multiple documents open at the same time, you need a way to control how those document windows appear on the ...

Discover More

Viewing Your Entire Document Width

The Zoom tool is very useful to help you see all of your document information. Here's how to make sure you can see all the ...

Discover More

Navigating a Collection of Selected Items

Word allows you to easily select portions of a document that meet differing criteria that you may specify. Stepping through ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 2?

2017-08-18 08:59:57

John Dockery

Occasionally the enter key will act oddly. I discovered that somehow it was being reassigned. This macro will list all redefined keys in a separate document. The last line restores the default behavior of the enter key
Sub KeyAssignments()
Dim kbLoop As KeyBinding
Dim CurrentKeyCommand As String
Dim NewKeyCommand As String
CustomizationContext = NormalTemplate
For Each kbLoop In KeyBindings
CurrentKeyCommand = kbLoop.Command
selection.InsertAfter kbLoop.Command & vbTab _
& kbLoop.KeyString & vbCr
selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
Next kbLoop
' This line resets the return (Enter) key to its default behavior.
FindKey(BuildKeyCode(Arg1:=wdKeyReturn)).Clear
End Sub


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.