keyboard shortcuts for lawyers

Today, I want to talk about keyboard shortcuts for lawyers. There was a time when I inwardly groaned whenever I had to insert a section symbol into a piece of legal writing. It took an embarrassingly long time before I realized I could simply add it using a pre-set keyboard shortcut rather clicking over to the “Insert Symbol” option of the MS Toolbar, finding the symbol icon, and adding it manually. To save you from a similar fate, this post walks through the keyboard shortcuts I have found most helpful in my legal career. These are all in Word, as I’ve always used a PC at work (and most offices distribute computers with Windows operating systems).

Most helpful keyboard shortcuts for lawyers

Note: where a symbol indicates two numbers, type them in the order written while holding down the Alt key. When you lift your finger off the Alt key, the symbol should appear.

Note #2: You can also set up your own customized shortcuts for these and other symbols or features you use frequently. Learn how here.


Alt + 21 will insert the Section symbol

Alt + 20 will insert the Paragraph symbol

Alt + Ctrl + T will insert the Trademark symbol (™)

Alt + Ctrl + C will insert the Copyright symbol (©)

Alt + Ctrl + R will insert the Registered Trademark symbol (®)


Ctrl + i will turn on italics (or italicize any highlighted text)

Ctrl + b will turn on bolding (or bold any highlighted text)

Ctrl + u will turn on underlining (or underline any highlighted text)

Ctrl + z will undo the last thing you did

Ctrl + x will cut the selected text

Ctrl + c will copy any selected text

Ctrl + v will paste what you previously cut or copied

Ctrl + s will save your document

Ctrl + Shift + K will switch highlighted text to small caps (hit the K button to toggle between these)

Shift + F3 will let you switch highlighted text between all caps, lower case, and some caps (hit the F3 key to toggle)


Ctrl + Alt + D will insert an end note

Ctrl + Alt + F will insert a footnote

Alt + Shift + o will allow you to mark a table of contents entry

Alt + Shift + i will allow you to mark an entry for the table of authorities

Check out more resources for new lawyers or career advice.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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