Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Canceling a Command.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 28, 2019)
If you start to perform a command or action within Word, you may want to cancel it before it finishes. To do this, the general rule is to simply press the Esc key. This should cancel any command or action that Word is processing. It is also interesting to note that you can press Esc to close most every dialog box that may pop up in Word.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13062) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Canceling a Command.
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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.