The computer and its programs are, for every translator, the most essential tools, and the difference between using only the most basic functions and gaining a deeper knowledge of some advanced features may bring about a huge difference in our productivity. We should also keep in mind that, many a time, ignoring some of these more advanced tools may cause problems that will make us waste time – time no one will pay us for. At the end of the day, in most cases, we charge for the words or pages we translate, and any delay we have will only be bad for us.

Among some of the topics we need to know like the back of our hands, I believe keyboard shortcuts ranks among the top 5. The mouse is a great tool for many things, but it can also be a double-edged sword, given how practical it may seem sometimes. It may not look like much, but, if you consider how many times you do it throughout the days or months, moving your hand away from the keyboard to use the mouse may imply a lot of wasted time. Moreover, personally, I find it way easier to do whatever I can from the keyboard instead of looking for certain features using the mouse.

Below is a list with some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word. As translators, I believe that there are two shortcuts we should be able to use even in our sleep – Undo (Ctrl+Z) and Save (Ctrl+S). You should bear in mind that some of these depend on the language you are using Word in, and these will work in the English versions of this program. There is another way of learning what the shortcut for a given feature is – just let your mouse pointer hover over the button with the feature you want and you’ll get a brief description together with its shortcut.

OPERATION SHORTCUT 

Apply bold format to selection

Ctrl+B

Underline selection

Ctrl+U

Apply italics format to selection

Ctrl+I

Small Caps

Ctrl+Shift+K

Superscript

Ctrl++

Find

Ctrl+F

Find and replace

Ctrl+H

Left-align a paragraph

Ctrl+L

Right-align a paragraph

Ctrl+R

Center a paragraph

Ctrl+E

Justify a paragraph

Ctrl+J

Open the Font preferences window

Ctrl+D

Cut

Ctrl+X

Copy

Ctrl+C

Paste

Ctrl+V

Undo

Ctrl+Z

Undo

Ctrl+Y

Select all

Ctrl+A

Go to

Ctrl+G

Print

Ctrl+P

Save

Ctrl+S

Save as

F12

Repeat last action (except highlighting)

F4

Move one word to the left/right

Ctrl+left/right arrow

Move one paragraph up/down

Ctrl+up/down arrow

Go to the beginning/end of the document

Ctrl+Home/End

Select text

Shift+a combination of the above

Create new document

Ctrl+N

Open document

Ctrl+O

Close document

Ctrl+F4

 

There are also certain shortcuts that work in the entire Windows environment, and are not limited to just Word. These are some of them:

OPERATION SHORTCUT 

Switch between windows

Alt+Tab

Close window

Alt+F4

Show desktop

+ D

Open file explorer (“My computer”)

 + E

Open file search window

 + F

Open “Run” window

 + R

Zoom

Ctrl + mouse scroll

 

The “Run” window deserves a few lines on its own. With this feature, we can run programs without looking for them in the Start menu. Below I have included the commands for the programs I use more often:

OPERATION SHORTCUT 

Calculator

calc

Word

winword (I usually run winword /w to open a new blank document)

Excel

excel

Paint

mspaint

Notepad

notepad

Shut down PC

shutdown -s -t 0

Restart PC

shutdown -r -t 0

 

Lastly, in most Internet browsers, we can also use the following:

OPERATION SHORTCUT 

Switch between tabs

Ctrl+Tab

Open new tab

Ctrl+T

Close current tab

Ctrl+W

 

We really hope these are useful for you. If there are other shortcuts you use and that are not included in the article, please leave us a comment below. And don’t forget to share!

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