Word Rockstar Part 2 – Time saving formatting shortcuts

In this second entry in the series that strives to make you a Word rockstar, we'll discuss two techniques that will help you wrangle confusing formatting in no time.

Using Word = Using Copy and Paste

First of all, let's talk about why you'd want to know about these tricks in the first place. When dealing with many documents that you generate daily, most of us use a lot of copy and paste.

You copy a checklist, for example. (Have you see my previous video? You should.) Or maybe you're copying some some notes from a website. Or sending out meeting minutes that originated in OneNote. Or using a quote from an emailed interview or subject matter expert, and now the task is to incorporate that quote into your finished document.

You get the idea. And many times when copying and pasting, that original formatting just won't cooperate.

So here are the two magic tricks that save me, over the course of a typical week, at least an hour or two which is time I need to set my fantasy football lineup, or at my wife on Facebook.

Magic trick one. Word's best keyboard shortcut

The first bit of formatting magic is done with a single keyboard shortcut:


It's my favorite keyboard shortcut of all time. In less than a second, it allows you to clear all formatting from selected text.

Yes, it's the same as using the button on the home tab of the ribbon, except that the button isn't labeled, so it's easy to miss.

Magic trick two. Change sentence case

The other magic trick is actually a button, and it's the change case button, which is right next to that "Clear Formatting" button on the ribbon. How does the change case come in handy?

Let's say you're a journo crafting an article whose title is "12 things the Internet is saying about x." I guess if you have opposable thumbs and a Twitter account, you're the Internet. (And if this describes your last news piece, I'm guessing you work for Buzzfeed, where 4 out of every 5 articles is just a sting of Tweets.)

In any event, your journalistic task is to quote a tweet where someone is SHOUTING, and you want to just quote it without the ALL CAPS NONSENSE going down within the tweet.

Copy and paste, and then use the toggle case button. Like this:

<demo change case>


Excuse me. I mean Boom!

The point with both of these magic tricks is that both are easy ways of getting formatting back to square 1, so you can then start fresh with your own formatting style that matches company (or your own) guidelines.

Anyway, check it out below in the companion vid.


For most, Microsoft Word is like cooking - something you do practically every day, and if you do well, it adds tremendous value to your life. (In fact, it's never a bad idea to get really great with the apps you use every day.)

Might as well get really, really good at it, then.

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