Adding a Keyboard Shortcut to a Menu Item

In Word, every built-in menu command contains a letter designated as the shortcut key. For example, you can choose Save As from the File menu by pressing Alt+F, A. You can add a shortcut key to a custom command as well.

In many cases, Word includes a shortcut key automatically when you drag the command to a menu. If that shortcut key isn't already in use on the same menu, there's little reason to change it. If it is already used, however, you'll almost certainly want to change it.


If two or more commands on the same menu use the same shortcut key, when you enter the letter you get the command that appears closest to the top of the menu. If you enter the letter again, Word selects the next command that uses the same shortcut key, and so on.

To add or change a shortcut key, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Tools, Customize to open the Customize dialog box.

  2. Display the menu containing the command you want to change.

  3. Right-click the command you want to change to display its shortcut menu (see Figure 31.14).

    Figure 31.14. Add (or move) the ampersand symbol immediately before the letter you want to use as a shortcut key.


  4. In the Name text box, Word places the existing name of the menu item (as it appears in the menu). To designate a shortcut, insert the ampersand (&) symbol before the letter you want to be your shortcut key. To change a shortcut, move the ampersand to precede the letter you want to use as a shortcut. (You might do this to avoid conflicts with another command on the same menu.)

  5. Press Enter.


In the Name text box on the shortcut menu, you can edit the name of a menu item any way you want. You can also remove a keyboard shortcut by editing out the ampersand symbol.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word