Why keyboard shortcuts are harder on Office for Mac

Office for Mac has keyboard shortcuts to speed up work but they are a lot hard to find than they should be.

There’s no direct mapping of Office for Windows shortcuts into Office for Mac.  Partly because the Mac has keys that aren’t on a regular Windows keyboard  ( ⌘/Command and Option) .  Conversely Windows keyboards have buttons not on a Mac (Alt and, obviously, Windows).

Some common shortcuts do convert between the two Office desktop systems.  Ctrl in Windows can becomesApple on a Mac.

Make a new file. Windows: Ctrl + N   Mac: ⌘ + N

Open an existing file. Windows Ctrl + O.   Mac:  ⌘ + O

Close current file. Windows: Ctrl + W.  Mac:  ⌘ + W

Save file. Windows: Ctrl + S.  Mac:  ⌘ + S

Print. Windows: Ctrl + P.  Mac:  ⌘ + P

That’s mostly because these shortcuts have been in computing for many years, some predating Windows or Mac!

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Finding shortcuts is harder in Office for Mac

Microsoft makes things MUCH harder for Mac users by NOT including shortcuts in the ribbon tooltips.

For example, in Word for Windows, the shortcut for Increase Font size is shown when you hover over that button (below) but the same button on Word for Mac only shows the name (above).

Office for Mac tooltips lack shortcut reminders (above) unlike Office for Windows (below).

At least the Increase/Decrease font size shortcut easily translates between Word for Mac and Windows:

Increase font size – by steps. Windows: Ctrl + Shift + >   Mac: + Shift + >

Decrease font size – by steps. Windows: Ctrl + Shift + <   Mac: + Shift + <

There’s no good reason for the missing shortcuts in tooltips, except Microsoft’s unwillingness to do anything.

Tell Me … please tell me something!

That omission extends to Microsoft’s much hyped ‘Tell Me’ which is supposedly an AI smart way to get Office help.  You’d think that typing “Keyboard Shortcuts” would have a link to a list of Office for Mac shortcuts – think again.

None of the obvious search terms “Keyboard” “shortcuts” or both return anything relevant, except for the lame and mislabelled “Advanced Symbol …” feature.

Inserting Symbols is harder in Office for Mac
Symbols and Emoji in Microsoft Office