Instead of crawling and sprawling through your Word document with your arrow keys, scrollbar, or mouse, leap from site to site by mastering a few quick and targeted keyboard navigation techniques. In the last two Tech Tips, we looked at taming Word by using a split screen to navigate in a single long document and using the Tabs for Word add-in to manage several documents at once. Today and next week, we’ll look at the speed and efficiency of the default Ctrl + navigations.
Ctrl + Left Arrow / Ctrl + Right Arrow
To jump to the beginning of the previous word (or the word you’re in), use Ctrl + Left Arrow. To jump to the beginning of the next word, use Ctrl + Right Arrow. A few controlled arrow taps are much faster and more accurate than laying on an arrow key, guessing when the cursor is almost in position, and then making adjustments a few characters at a time. Jumping a few words with the Ctrl + functions is also faster than leaving the keyboard to use the mouse.
Ctrl + Up Arrow / Ctrl + Down Arrow
To position your cursor at the beginning of the previous or next paragraph, pair the Ctrl key with the Up or Down Arrow.
Ctrl + Home / Ctrl + End
To leap all the way to the first or last character of the document, let Ctrl take you home or send you to the end.
Ctrl + Page Up / Ctrl + Page Down
Despite their names, Page Up and Page Down move you one screen, not one page, at a time. To quickly jump to the top of the previous or next page, use Ctrl + Page Up and Ctrl + Page Down.
I use Ctrl + Page Up/Down as much or more than any other keyboard shortcut, but not usually to navigate a screen or a page at a time. Next week, we’ll look at what Ctrl + Page Up/Down can do in specific modes.
Image courtesy of Nina Matthews Photography.