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

Calculating an IRR with Varying Interest Rates

You might wonder how you can calculate an IRR (internal rate of return) when the person repaying the loan pays different ...

Discover More

Changing Default Search Settings

Excel provides some great tools for finding information in a worksheet or a workbook. Changing the default settings used ...

Discover More

Printing Multiple Selections

Need to print several portions of a worksheet all on a single piece of paper? Here's an easy way you can get what you ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making Suggestions to Microsoft about Word

Got an idea for making Word a better program? Microsoft wants to hear from you and has created a website to solicit your ...

Discover More

Cascading Document Windows

Want the various documents you have open to be cascaded on-screen so you can organize them easier? The capability is ...

Discover More

Hiding and Displaying Hidden Text

You can easily hide text by simply changing the attributes associated with the text. Once that is done, you can turn the ...

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 eight minus 8?

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.