Now that I have moved back over to the not-so-technical side, I find that I am having to relearn things that I probably knew a long time before but have forgotten. As I have pointed out to my friends before, I don’t care so much about what tools I use so long as the job gets done. However, since I don’t have ready access to dev tools at this job (since I’m not a developer in this role), I have to go back to more common office tools. It’s not a bad thing, mind you, just something that I have to do and there are ups and downs to it.

I was recently asked to go manually update a bunch of Word documents with specific formatting. I hate to do things manually so naturally I sought out a way to make it go faster. Because of the formatting issues of the docs, a macro was not the most efficient method. However, I recalled that I could set my own keyboard shortcuts – woohoo! In MS Word 2007, it’s actually pretty straightforward. First, click on the Office button in the top left corner. This will provide the base-level menu list.

On this menu list, click on the “Word Options” button at the bottom right of the menu list. On the list on the left-hand side, click on “Customize”. You will then see the following:

At the bottom, click on “Customize” next to “Keyboard shortcuts:” in order to view all of the menu items and to enable the creation/modification of keyboard shortcuts. That will bring up the option to customize any keyboard commands. Below, you can see that I’ve updated the Highlight to use the default setting (Alt-Ctrl-H) which I found didn’t work as I wanted and the Alt-Q that I added and which is easier for me to use. The same, obviously, can be done for any changes that you may also wish to make.

It is little shortcuts like these that create efficiencies and, at the end of the day, shorten the time I need to do things manually and enable me to accomplish more. Hopefully this will point the way to doing the same for you.