Word is getting Zoom shortcuts but there's a price ...

Microsoft is adding zoom shortcuts to Word for Windows and Mac to make Word more ‘browser like’ but to do that they’re changing long-standing keyboard shortcuts.

These are keyboard shortcuts you might be using in a web browser and they already work for documents for Word in a browser.

Zoom OUT Ctrl +  (dash) Mac: Cmd + -

Zoom IN  Ctrl + + Mac: Cmd + +

100% (default) Zoom Ctrl + 0  Mac: Cmd + 0

Zoom In/Out – with a mouse wheel, hold down the Ctrl key and Scroll

Word has been able to Zoom for some time, most obviously from the zoom slider at bottom right and the in-built commands. What’s new are the keyboard shortcuts for zooming.

That sounds great but several long-standing Word key shortcuts have to either change or, more likely, get deleted entirely.

Word Zoom shortcuts and changes

Here’s a summary of the coming changes to Word for Windows/Mac keyboard shortcuts.

CommandCurrent ShortcutNew shortcutCommand Name *
Zoom OutnoneCtrl + -
Mac:  Cmd + -
Zoom InnoneCtrl + +
Mac: Cmd + +
100% ZoomnoneCtrl + 0
Mac: Cmd + 0
Subscript2Ctrl + +
Mac: Cmd + +
Ctrl + Shift + -
Mac: Cmd + Shift + -
Superscript2Ctrl + Shift + +
Mac: Cmd + Shift + +
no changeSuperscript
Optional HyphenCtrl + -
Mac: Cmd + -
Nothing!Common Symbols | Optional Hyphen
Non-breaking HyphenCtrl + Shift + -
Mac: Cmd + Shift + -
Nothing!Common Symbols | Nonbreaking Hyphen
Add or remove one line space preceding a paragraphCtrl + 0
Mac: Cmd + 0

* Command Name: use this to assign a different key shortcut at Customize Keyboard.

Subscript keyboard change

There’s a problem – Ctrl + + is already a long-standing keyboard shortcut for subscript formatting.

Microsoft is changing subscript shortcut (toggle) to Ctrl + Shift + -

Superscript (toggle) remains as Ctrl + Shift + +

Optional and non-breaking hyphen shortcut changes

It’s a similar problem with Ctrl + - which has inserted an optional hyphen for as long as anyone can remember.

Same with the non-breaking hyphen which is at Ctrl + Shift + – but not for much longer.

Microsoft’s ‘solution’ is dropping both keyboard shortcuts completely!

You’ll have to use either Insert | Symbol | Special Characters OR Customize Keyboard and the Common Symbols list to either restore the original shortcuts or make new shortcuts.

Paragraph spacing shortcut

Another less well-known shortcut has a long name “Add or remove one line space preceding a paragraph” which was quickly access via Ctrl + 0

That will become the Zoom 100% shortcut with no replacement.

Are these changes necessary?

These changes are a right pain, especially the change of subscript to Ctrl + Shift + – but it’s probably for the best.

Back when Word was first unleashed (forty years ago!) there were no browsers, let alone zooming shortcuts.  Since then, the zoom feature in browsers with shortcuts has become a de-facto standard.  Modern graphics cards make zooming windows practical in a way unthinkable twenty years ago.

A lot more people will use Zoom shortcuts in Word than the more obscure hyphen and paragraph spacing keystrokes.

That said, Microsoft could do a better job explaining the downside of changes and showing how to restore the existing shortcuts for those who prefer them.

Who gets it?

According to Microsoft, the new shortcuts work in these versions of Insiders (beta) of Word 365.

  • “Windows: Version 16.0.15831.20174 or later”
    • This is strange because the current Winword numbering system is version/build e.g. Version 2304 (Build 16307.20006) on the Account pane in the beta current release.
  • Mac: Version 16.67.1113.0 or later

Subscript and Superscript in Word and Office

Join Office for Mere Mortals today

Office for Mere Mortals is where thousands pick up useful tips and tricks for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  We've never spammed or sold addresses since we started over twenty years ago.
Invalid email address