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