Word Navigation Tricks – finding your way around a document

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There are better ways to move about a document than scrolling up and down. Word has some nifty navigation tricks that’ll have you moving around a document like a city bicycle courier!

We’ll skip the more obvious ones that are covered in most texts and explain the navigation tips less traveled.

  • Go Back
  • Go To
  • Navigation Shortcuts
  • Vertical Scroll Bar

Go Back

Ever started reading through a document then wanted to jump back to the last placed you worked on?

Go Back has been in Word for a long as we can remember.

Go Back takes you to the last place the cursor was active.

Shortcut:  Ctrl + Alt + Z   or   Shift + F5   Mac: Command+Option+Z

Go Back is really handy when you’ve opened a document, press the shortcut and you’ll be back where you were when the document was closed.  It’s the same as the ‘Welcome Back’ prompt in modern Word.

Alas, Go Back only goes back one step.  It would be nice if the feature had a longer memory so users could jump back to other recently visited spots in a document.

Go To

The often-forgotten part of the Find / Replace dialog is ‘Go To’.

Go To lets you skip between pages, sections, bookmarks, comments, footnotes, field, graphics, tables or objects.

For example, to move through the document images, use Go To, select Graphics then a + sign in the box.  Each time you press ‘Go To’, Word will move to the next image.  Type in a – minus sign to go backwards.  Do the same for Tables etc.

The Find/Replace/Go To dialog is non-modal – a nerdy term which means you can work outside that dialog while it’s open.  You can edit the Word document, as usual, with the dialog box open at the side or above (like in the example shown above).

More navigation shortcuts

Here’s some Word shortcuts you might not be aware of:

Ctrl +  UP arrow – jumps to the previous paragraph

Ctrl + DOWN arrow – jumps to the next paragraph

Ctrl + LEFT arrow – jump to the previous word

Ctrl + RIGHT arrow – jump to the next word

Ctrl + Alt + Page UP – jump to the top of the current document window

Ctrl + Alt + Page DOWN – jump to bottom of the current document window

Ctrl + HomeStart of document

Ctrl + EndEnd of document

Vertical Scroll bar

Hold the vertical scroll bar button and scroll, then you’ll see the current page number and heading.

A fast way to scroll to the exact place you need.


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