Add a fast keyboard shortcut for any Word style

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Here’s how to add a  keyboard shortcut for any Microsoft Word style including Headings and Normal style. A shortcut is faster than clicking on the ribbon anytime you want to apply a style.

For commonly used styles it’s easier and faster to use a keyboard shortcut.  Microsoft even supplies a few with Word, but not enough.

The in-built style shortcuts are:

Normal    Ctrl + Shift + N

Heading 1            Ctrl + Alt + 1

Heading 2            Ctrl + Alt + 2

Heading 3            Ctrl + Alt + 3

We have no idea why Microsoft supplies in-built styles up to Heading 9 didn’t include the matching shortcuts for all of them.

Let’s build on that start by adding shortcut for Heading 4 and beyond

From the Style Gallery or Styles list, right-click and choose Modify.

On the Modify Style dialog head for the Format button and choose Shortcut Key.

That opens the Customize Keyboard dialog ready to assign a new shortcut key.

Commands:  the Heading 4 style is added for you.

Press new shortcut key: click in the box then press the key combination you want to apply.  In this case  Ctrl + Alt + 4

Currently assigned to: will show you in your shortcut choice is already allocated to something else.

Save changes in:  Normal.dotm is the standard choice to apply the shortcuts to all documents.  Alternatively choose an open document or template.

Assign:  when you’re ready, click Assign to apply the change.

Repeat treatment as required

Do the same for Heading 5, Heading 6  and any other style you want to apply to shortcut.

Heading 4            Ctrl + Alt + 4

Heading 5            Ctrl + Alt + 5

Heading 6            Ctrl + Alt + 6

And so on ….

For consistency, we use Ctrl + Alt plus a letter for non-heading styles.

Normal style

The default shortcut for Normal style is Ctrl + Shift + N .  But you might prefer all your Style related shortcuts to be Ctrl + Alt + something to be consistent with the in-built Heading style shortcuts.

Changing the Normal style shortcut to Ctrl + Alt + N has a tiny catch.  That shortcut is already allocated to ‘ViewNormal’ or Draft View as it’s now known ( ‘Normal’ view because in early Word versions it was the default view).  Few people use Draft view these days so changing the shortcut should not be a problem.

Select Normal style |Modify | Shortcut Key then enter the Ctrl + Alt + N shortcut key.

You’ll see that it’s already assigned to ‘ViewNormal’ but you can click Assign to override that with your preference.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Word for Windows has always allowed users to change default keyboard shortcuts to their own preference.

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