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Hotkeys for Paper Writing

In college, students have to write a lot of papers. Knowing the hotkeys for paper writing will help them complete the task faster.

Microsoft Word

For this article, we are going to look at paper writing keyboard shortcuts for the Microsoft Windows system. Specifically, we are going to be looking at Microsoft Word – a word processing program used by many college students to type up papers. For the purpose of this article, I will be used Word 2016. Here is a list of hotkeys in Microsoft Word 2016 and how they are useful. Also, keep in mind that these shortcuts are not exclusive to Microsoft Word. They can also work in other applications.

  1. CTRL-C and CTRL-V

We will start off with the most used shortcuts. CTRL-C will let you copy text and CTRL-V will let you paste it either somewhere else in the same document or in another document. This is helpful if you need to repeat a phrase in a document. Why type it out over and over again when you can just copy and paste.

  1. CTRL-X

This lets you cut selected text that you can then put elsewhere in the document. This is useful for moving words and phrases around on a document.


These three shortcuts help you bold, italicize or underline text, respectfully. Executing these shortcuts again will have the opposite effect. Using these shortcuts is much faster than moving the cursor to the toolbar.

  1. CTRL-Z

This undoes something in Microsoft Word. For example, if you accidentally delete an entire paragraph, this shortcut brings the paragraph back.

  1. CTRL-Y

This is the opposite of the previous shortcut. It restores something in Microsoft Word that you just undid. It also becomes the repeat function when there is nothing to undo.

  1. CTRL-S

This shortcut saves your Word document.

  1. Shift+F3

With this, you can change a word from lowercase letters to uppercase letters. For instance, let’s look at the word “letters”. Hitting Shift and F3 once will change it to “Letters”. Using that shortcut again will produce this: LETTERS.

  1. CTRL+1; CTRL+2 and CTRL+5

These shortcuts change the line spacing of the document. The +1 is for single spacing, the +2 is for double spacing, and the +5 is for one and a half line spacing.


This allows you to go straight to the end of a document. This is great for when you have those long papers you have to write and you need to add something.


This takes you to the beginning of a document.

  1. CTRL+ [ and CTRL+]

These function increase or decrease the font size of selected text. The + [ decrease and the +] increases.

  1. CTRL-F

This is used to search for particular words in a document.

  1. CTRL+H

This is used to find and replace text in a document. It brings up the find and replace dialog box. You put in a word in the find box; and the word that you want to replace it with goes in the replace box.

  1. CTRL-G

This is another shortcut that is very useful for those long research papers and dissertations. The resulting window that comes up when you use this shortcut will allow you to navigate a long document more easily. It is faster than just scrolling through a long document.

  1. CTRL+=

This is for subscript text. Example: Word2016.


This is for superscript text. Example: Word2016.

  1. CTRL-E.

This centers selected text in a document.

  1. CTRL-L

This aligns selected text in a document to the left.

  1. CTRL-R

This does the opposite. It aligns selected text in a document to the right.

  1. CTRL-J

This makes selected text justified. That means there is an even gap on the right and left of each line of text.

Prescott Papers

Knowing all of these shortcuts means you’ll be able to write those papers your professors assign you for your classes faster. However, if you ever need a custom paper written by one of the writers at Prescott Papers, you can be sure that the writers we hire will be knowledgeable of all these shortcuts.

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