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Styles are fast and easy to use, given all the tools available, such as the Styles pane, classic Word 2003 Style box, aliases for quick application, and the Style gallery, but there is yet another even faster way of applying styles--most especially if you're a keyboard person. Many people that type all day feel that taking their hand off the keyboard to use the mouse slows them down. Word comes with lots of prebuilt keyboard shortcuts for your convenience.
Let's work with those first. Then we'll create some of our own shortcuts. You may remember, if you've been following along, how you can promote and demote heading styles using the Outline view. Word allows you to apply, promote, and demote heading styles using keyboard shortcuts. This document has the Intent Quote style applied throughout the entire document. If I go to View > Draft, you could see that. Let's set the document back to the Normal style by using the keyboard shortcut, and then we can apply the correct styles.
Let's select the entire document. Press Ctrl+A on your keyboard. I always think of that as "Ctrl+All" so I can better remember it. So now it's selected. We're going to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N, as in normal, and notice that all of our styles are now set back to the Normal style. This keyboard shortcut can be extremely helpful. Now, select Introduction. We'll use the keyboard shortcut to apply our Heading 1 style.
Press Ctrl+Alt+1, not F1, but the number 1 on your keyboard, and the Heading 1 style is applied. Now select "Changes-In-Policy." We'll apply Heading 2. Press Ctrl+Alt+2 and Heading 2 is applied. Scroll down until you see Employment-Applications and select it. We'll apply Heading 3 by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+3. You can see that committing these shortcuts to memory can you save lots of time working on your future documents.
Using prebuilt shortcuts is timesaving, but think just how timesaving creating keyboard shortcuts for your own styles can be. So let's get started. Go back to the Home Ribbon and open up the Styles window. We'll create a keyboard shortcut for the HB Body Text style. So find HB Body Text, click on the down arrow, and select Modify. At the bottom of the dialog box, locate the Format button and click.
Select Shortcut key-- it's the second from the bottom. It automatically places us in the field box that says Press new shortcut key. Since this is Body Text, Ctrl+B would be a great shortcut. So when I press Ctrl+B, it says that's it's Currently assigned to: Bold. If I didn't notice this or it was currently assigned or something else and pressed Assign, it would write over that Ctrl+B for bold.
That wouldn't be a good idea. So be careful about assigning keyboard shortcuts over top of currently assigned keyboard shortcuts. Let's try Alt+B. Delete Ctrl+B and press Alt+B. It says it's currently unassigned, so I am safe to use it. Also notice that it says Save changes in: Normal, so that's the Normal template. I can also choose to just save this in this particular document.
I want it to be available in all my documents, so I can choose the Normal template. And then click Assign. It's very important not to click close yet until you press the Assign button. Once you press Assign, click on Close and click on OK. Now if I select any of my text--and I'll just select these three paragraphs here-- and I press Alt+B, Alt+B applies my HB Body Text style. What about to un-assign? Well, I can go back to my style, HB Body Text, click on the down arrow, go to Modify > Format >Shortcut Key, click on the Current key and then press Remove.
Click on Close and OK and now it's unassigned. Using and assigning keyboard shortcut to styles makes using styles even faster and speedier. Using keyboard shortcuts can be even faster than assigning aliases to your styles and using them in the Apply Styles box or the classic 2003 Style box. The reason it will be faster is with shortcut keys you don't have to move your cursor into one of those dialog boxes prior to typing a shortcut.
Shortcuts are self-contained, so to speak, and you can use them anywhere to apply a style.
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