Word Navigation Pane

When reviewing a Microsoft Word document with many pages you may find yourself constantly scrolling up/down or using the Page Up/Page Down keys. To aid in navigating large documents Microsoft added the Navigation Pane starting with Word 2010.

The Navigation Pane is only available when a document contains Heading styles. At a minimum a document must utilize the Heading 1 style. The Navigation Pane will also recognize and use the higher heading styles (2,3,…).

To use the Navigation Pane you must ‘turn it on’ by checking the Navigation Pane check box in the Show section of the View tab on the ribbon.

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Word Keyboard Navigation

One of the ironies of using computer software programs with a graphical interface is that you have to move at least one hand from the keyboard to the mouse in order accomplish some command or task. When using a word processing program most users immediately reach for their mouse to move the insertion point to a new location, or to look at another portion of the document. This is very inefficient considering that you will be moving your hand back to the keyboard to continue typing once you have moved to the new location.

This article explains some of the methods to navigate a document with the keyboard when using Microsoft Word. These keyboard shortcuts should work in Word 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013. NOTE: The ‘+’ between the key names indicates that you have to press the keys at the same time.

Keystroke(s) Movement
Left or Right Arrow One character left or right
Up or Down Arrow One line up or down
Ctrl+(Left or Right) Arrow One word left or right
Ctrl+(Up or Down) Arrow One paragraph up or down
Home or End Beginning or end of line
Ctrl+(Home or End) Beginning or end of document
Page Up or Page Down One screen up or down
Ctrl+Alt+(Page Up or Page Down) Top or bottom of the window
Ctrl+(Page Up or Page Down) Previous or next instance of browse object

Even remembering half of these navigation tips will make you more efficient at moving around a Word document.

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Word Keyboard Formatting

A prior post explained how to select text within a Microsoft Word document using the keyboard rather than the mouse. Once you have selected text, what do you do with it? The odds are that you either copy it and paste it somewhere else, delete it, or format it. If you routinely perform the same formatting option(s) on text, you can improve your efficiency with Word by learning the keyboard short-cut(s) for those options.

The following table lists the methods that can be used to format a document with the keyboard when using Microsoft Word. These keyboard shortcuts should work in Word 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013. NOTE: The ‘+’ between the key names indicates that you have to press the keys at the same time.

Format Type Short-cut Keys
Align left CTRL+L
Align right CTRL+R
Bulleted list CTRL+SHIFT+L
Center CTRL+E
Copy format CTRL+SHIFT+C
Decrease font size CTRL+SHIFT+<
Decrease font size one point CTRL+[
Font name CTRL+SHIFT+F
Hang paragraph CTRL+T
Heading level 1 ALT+CTRL+1
Heading level 2 ALT+CTRL+2
Heading level 3 ALT+CTRL+3
Increase font size CTRL+SHIFT+>
Increase font size one point CTRL+]
Indent paragraph CTRL+M
Italic CTRL+I
Justify paragraph CTRL+J
Line space (1 line) CTRL+1
Line space (1.5 lines) CTRL+5
Line space (2 lines) CTRL+2
Normal style CTRL+SHIFT+N
Open font dialog box CTRL+D
Paste format CTRL+SHIFT+V
Reset character formatting CTRL+SPACEBAR
Reset paragraph formatting CTRL+Q
Small caps CTRL+SHIFT+K
Subscript CTRL+=
Superscript CTRL+SHIFT+=
Symbol font CTRL+SHIFT+Q
Underline continuous CTRL+U
Underline double CTRL+SHIFT+D
Underline word CTRL+SHIFT+W
Un-indent paragraph CTRL+SHIFT+M

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Word Browse Object

In addition to the regular ways of navigating a Word document with the mouse or keyboard, Microsoft has provided the Browse Object. The Browse Object are the two double-arrows located at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar.


These double-arrows move the insertion point to the previous or next instance of a particular object. The default object browsed is Browse By Page. Therefore, these double-arrows move back and forth between pages of the document.

What most Word users do not know is that you can change the object being browsed to something other than page. For example, if you changed the Browse Object to Browse by Graphic, the double-arrows would then move the insertion point back and forth between all of the graphic images contained in your document.

To change the Browse Object, either click the round button between the double-arrows as shown in the next screen shot, or press ALT+CTRL+HOME on the keyboard.


This brings up a small box with twelve icons. The first two icons do not actually modify the Browse Object. They both display the Find and Replace dialog box, although with a different tab having the focus. The remaining icons change the object being browsed to one of the following.

  • Browse by Edits
  • Browse by Heading
  • Browse by Graphic
  • Browse by Table
  • Browse by Field
  • Browse by Endnote
  • Browse by Footnote
  • Browse by Comment
  • Browse by Section
  • Browse by Page

To learn which icon handles which object, hover your mouse over the icon. The object type will be displayed above the icons as shown in the next screen shot.


The Browse Object can be a tremendous time saver when navigating large, complex documents. The key is to remember that it even exists!

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Customize the Office Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) was Microsoft’s attempt to appease users of Office 2003 for the replacement of the menus/toolbars with the Ribbon that debuted in Office 2007. The QAT allowed users to add their favorite command shortcuts to one location rather than having to search the ribbon for commands that were no longer in the expected location. The QAT is the series of icons that are (by default) displayed above the tabs of the Office ribbon. The default QAT for Word 2010 is shown below.


To add the commands that you need to the QAT, click the drop-down arrow at the right end of the QAT and select More Commands from the menu. NOTE: Although our example is using Word, the procedure is the same for all Office applications that have the QAT.


This will open the Word Options dialog box as seen in the next image. NOTE: this post uses images from Office 2010. The dialog boxes look slightly different in Office 2007.


The left drop-down allows you to narrow the area from which you wish to choose a command. Use All Commands for a comprehensive list.


The right drop-down allows you to customize the QAT for all documents, or just the current one. This could be very useful if a document that you use on a regular basis requires special commands.


The basic procedure is to select a command from the left pane and move it to the right using the Add >> button. Do not to forget to add the Separator to add vertical bars to the QAT. Use the << Remove button to remove commands from the QAT. The up/down arrows along the right side of the dialog box can be used to arrange the icons left-to-right.


The QAT will be look like the following after clicking the OK button on the previous dialog box.


You can go through the procedure again to make any additional modifications. You can also erase all of your customizations and start from scratch if you click the Reset button on the options dialog box.




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