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20 text navigation & other Word shortcuts for translators (post-conference thoughts)

Keyboard shortcuts for translators - KeyCheck TranslationIt’s been a long time and I’ve been busy translating English to Polish and back (the latter only as stated in my terms!) but at last I found a moment to write the next post. This is the penultimate post in my post-conference thought series and today I’m going to talk about using macros text navigation & keyboard shortcuts in Word documents to aid translators in their work.

I was going to discuss using macros but I came to the conclusion that I’m unable to teach you anything exciting that you cannot find out about elsewhere, e.g. on How to Make a Macro in Word 2010 – For Dummies. (Macros can help us, translators, with repetitive and mundane tasks, such as adding a line every x lines, joining a badly OCR-ed text into paragraphs – rather than having a separate paragraph for every line – or repetitive formatting in one or several different files. They generally automate complex and/or repetitive actions.)

So instead, I decided to share some useful shortcuts for text navigation as well as other useful features available in Word 2010 and most other versions of this software. I can almost guarantee that you’ll find them to be great time and effort savers, so it’s really worth learning them.

Tips for text navigation/selection using the keyboard

Here is a list of 6 particularly useful shortcuts for text navigation (or selection using Shift). Not everyone seems to know them, yet they are really useful:

Text navigation (works for other software too, e.g. in Google Chrome!):

  1. Ctrl+(Shift+) ← – move (select) one word to your left;
  2. Ctrl+(Shift+) → – move (select) one word to your right;
  3. Ctrl+(Shift+) ↑ – move (select) the text from where the cursor is to the beginning of the paragraph;
  4. Ctrl+(Shift+) ↓ – move (select) the text from where the cursor is to the end of the paragraph.
  5. Ctrl+(Shift+) Home – move to the beginning of the text (select the text from where the cursor is to the beginning of the text)
  6. Ctrl+(Shift+) End – move to the end of the text (select the text from where the cursor is to the end of the text)Other useful Word shortcuts for translators:
  7. Shift+F3 – change case (from all lowercase to First Letter Caps, to ALL CAPS)
  8. Ctrl+[ – make font size smaller by 1 pt (another shortcut that does this is Ctrl+Shift+<)
  9. Ctrl+] – make font size larger by 1 pt (another shortcut that does this is Ctrl+Shift+>)
  10. Ctrl+D – bring up the font dialog
  11. Ctrl+Q – align the text to the left
  12. Ctrl+E – centre the text
  13. Ctrl+R – align the text to the right
  14. Ctrl+J – justify the text
  15. Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar – insert a non-breaking space (the words separated by non-breaking spaces will stay together, i.e., they will only go to the next line together). This is particularly useful for people who write in Polish, as all one-letter words are not supposed to hang at the end of any line, so that the non-breaking space should stick them to the word that follows. It is also useful for things like “20 M people”, so that you don’t get this:
    bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla 20
    M people.
  16. Ctrl+Enter – insert a page break
  17. Ctrl+W – exit the document (not the program!)
  18. Ctrl+M – increase the indent
  19. Ctrl+Shift+M – decrease the indent
  20. F7 – spelling and grammar check.

There are many more shortcuts, some more useful than others, and here you can find a far more comprehensive list. These 20 shortcuts are particularly useful for me. I hope they are for you too!

How about you? Do you find that you use some shortcuts over and over again? Please comment to share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and ta-ta for now!

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