Tip: Use Microsoft Office without the Mouse

The mouse may look like a helpful piece of technology, but be warned; it’s actually a tool of destruction. If your mouse has been your sidekick for years of heavy computer usage, then your wrist might be in danger of carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from the mouse and use your keyboard to navigate Microsoft Office.

This mouseless feature is available on all Microsoft Office applications. Accessing the keyboard control interface is as easy as tapping the Alt key. After giving Alt a little tap-tap-taperoo, you will now see Scrabble-like letters at the top of the application on the “Ribbon Row” (the Ribbon Row contains File, Home, Insert, etc.). Below each tab will be a corresponding letter, “F” for File, “H” for Home, “N” for Insert, etc.

By tapping the desired letter on your keyboard, the corresponding tab will open. You will now see a unique letter or number given to every featured icon in the tab. Go ahead and tap the letter on the keyboard that corresponds with the feature you want to use. Using this letter/number keyboard approach, you can easily navigate Microsoft Office without having to memorize all the different Ctrl and Alt combinations.

Although, knowing the different Ctrl and Alt combinations are still a handy way to navigate a PC with your keyboard. In the past, you had to crack open a computer manual to learn what Ctrl combination does what. With the most modern Windows operating systems, Microsoft has made looking up the combinations easy by giving you a digital cheat sheet. All you have to do is hit Ctrl+? and a window full of all the possible keyboard shortcuts will pop up on your screen.

By taking advantage of all of these keyboard shortcuts, it may be possible to ditch the mouse and use your keyboard for everything–a move your wrist will appreciate. Do you know of any other keyboard shortcuts that will help others to be more productive? Share your shortcuts in the comments!

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