Fluent Shortcuts in Office 2007

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The new ‘ribbon’ interface in Office 2007 is officially called the ‘Fluent’ interface and there are some nifty shortcut tricks available.

The new ‘ribbon’ interface in Office 2007 is officially called the ‘Fluent’ interface and there are some nifty shortcut tricks available.

First off, keep in mind that the ribbon interface isn’t as scary as it might appear. That’s not to say that it is as wonderful and easy as Microsoft’s promotions would have you believe – but it’s also not as bad as some nay-sayers.


Learn Shortcuts as you work

In previous versions of Office you had to learn keyboard shortcuts almost by rote. Office 2007 lets you learn many shortcuts as you work. Instead of using the mouse to click on ribbon icons just press the Alt key (just press once, no need to hold the key down).

With the Alt key pressed a series of letter and number tags will appear over the ribbon, these are the reminders of keys you can press to access that part of the ribbon.

550 Word 2007 Shortcut reminders when pressing Alt - Fluent Shortcuts in Office 2007

 

If the key represents a direct function, then pressing the key will do that thing. For example pressing Alt then 1 will normally go to File Save (if it’s the first item on the Quick Access Toolbar).

More usually, the first key will lead you to the next level of the ribbon. For example Alt then N for the Insert menu then U for the Symbol menu.

550 Word 2007 Shortcut reminders when pressing Alt N - Fluent Shortcuts in Office 2007

 

Some shortcuts have two letters (eg ZP and ZL on the Insert menu), press both letters, in order to access than option.

The shortcuts can go many level deep for example, Alt N Z P takes you to the Insert Pages options where you can press V NP or B.

550 Word 2007 Shortcut reminders when pressing Alt N Z P - Fluent Shortcuts in Office 2007

 

This might seem tedious but it’s great for keeping your eyes on the screen and fingers on the keyboard. It’s ideal for touch typists. After a short while your commonly used shortcuts won’t need the on screen reminders – but if you do forget, the prompts are there on the screen.

Once you’ve started navigating with keyboard shortcuts you can always revert to mouse clicks part way through – sometimes this is more convenient for navigating the long gallery lists.

Pressing Escape will take you back one level in the shortcuts menu, press that key if you accidentally hit the wrong letter.


The shortcuts remain the same

The shortcuts also mimic the settings and menus in Office 2003.

For example, Alt + O then S gets you to the Styles menu in Word 2003 via the Format menu – it also works in Word 2007 even though the Format menu doesn’t exist anymore.


Traditional shortcuts still there

Despite all these changes, the ‘traditional’ and long-standing shortcuts remain – these are shortcuts sometimes pre-date Office and Word – for example:

Ctrl + S will still immediately save your document.

Ctrl + B will toggle bold text on or off.

Ctrl + U will toggle underline

And so on.

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