Using Word Better: Beyond Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V

Get ready. You’re about to have the veil of mediocrity lifted from your eyes. You’ve been using Microsoft Word inefficiently for copying and pasting — until now. Ctrl+F3 will change your world.

If you’re already using the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste, respectively, then you’re on the right track. These kinds of simple shortcuts save you and your mouse lots of time by circumventing having to navigate to the Copy and Paste buttons to do these actions manually.

There’s more to copying and pasting than simple Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V! Sometimes you need to move a lot of stuff around your document at once. Let’s say you need to get half a dozen paragraphs, graphics, and tables that are currently scattered throughout your document moved quickly to the end of the document. You’ve got a deadline and you don’t want to lose any formatting by opening a separate document to place each copied item while you go back for others.

Try this: Highlight a sentence or paragraph, and then press Ctrl+F3. In a separate place in the document, do the same thing with a different sentence or paragraph. Add a third item! And a fourth!

When you’ve pulled out all of the pieces that you want to move, place your cursor where these items should wind up, and press Ctrl+Shift+F3. And like magic, all four (or more) items that you’d previously pulled out of the document appear here.

You can think of Ctrl+F3 as your imaginary extended clipboard that, like a real clipboard, you can keep adding scraps and passages to until you’re ready to put them in their final position.