Secret commands for Word and Notepad

My readers always seem interested in learning about new and undocumented features of Windows and major Windows applications, and I'm happy to oblige.

My readers always seem interested in learning about new and undocumented features of Windows and major Windows applications, and I’m happy to oblige.

I was recently asked, for example, how to discover and remember the apparently endless number of keyboard shortcuts available in Microsoft Word 2000. Here’s a fairly easy way to find them, but good luck remembering them.

Step 1. In Word 2000, pull down the Tools menu, click Macro, and then Macros.

Step 2. In the list box entitled Macros In, select Word commands.

Step 3. In the Macro name list, scroll down and select ListCommands.

Step 4. Click the Run button.

Step 5. In the dialogue box that appears, select “Current menu and keyboard settings” or “All Word commands” and then click OK. The former option produces a shorter list than the latter option. But both result in a new document you can format, print or save.

Another way to get a good list, if you don’t need an editable document, is to visit Microsoft Support.

Whichever way you look at it, Word has a huge number of keyboard shortcuts. It’s been said the average PC user exploits only 10% of an application such as Word. By studying and using Word’s shortcut charts, you should be able to increase that by a few percentage points.

One of my favourite timesavers is Shift+F3. This toggles a selection of text between all caps, all lowercase, and initial caps (the first letter capitalised). This is handy when you want to convert some text from all caps to all lowercase without having to retype it. Yes, I know Ctrl+Shift+A turns All Caps format on and off, but this isn’t as versatile as Shift+F3.

Here’s a little secret you probably haven’t heard. Let’s say you’ve been editing your resume in Word. But you share your PC with other co-workers and you don’t want them to see MyResume.doc or whatever is in the MRU (most recently used) document list at the bottom of Word’s File menu.

To remove the document name from the MRU list, start by pressing Ctrl+Alt+ Hyphen (using the “-” key that’s next to the zero on the top row). Your mouse pointer will turn into a horizontal line. Use the pointer to click File, and then click the document name you wish to disappear. It’s toast, but your file’s still OK.

This also works to delete any command from a pull-down menu, so be careful not to do this by accident. If you make a mistake, you can add back a blown-away command by clicking Tools, Customize, Commands.

Some of these tricks may work in other versions of Word, but I can’t guarantee that.

More Notepad goodies

I have previously revealed a little-known Registry entry. Changing fSavePageSettings from 0 to 1 allows Notepad in Windows Me to retain any header and footer values you set so you never have to reset them. In Windows 2000, Notepad also retains its margins.

Several readers report this also works in Windows NT. Rob Fritz says Notepad’s settings automatically move from the Registry’s HKLM section to HKCU, but the trick does function as expected. (Fritz will receive a free copy of Windows Me Secrets for this tip.)

Notepad’s Help file in Windows NT, un-fortunately, doesn’t explain the codes you can use in its headers and footers. If you can’t look these up in Windows 2000 or Me, the codes to print dates, times and page numbers are the same as the ones at Microsoft Support.

Finally, although it worked fine when I tested it in Windows 98, several Windows 98 users say fSavePageSettings doesn’t appear in their Registry. I haven’t been able to determine the exact cause. The feature may require Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) or the installation of a particular service pack.

In any case, if there’s no fSavePageSettings entry, you can’t use the trick, OK? Stay tuned.

It’s been a perfect 10

This June will mark 10 years of my weekly columns. Tell me which stories you liked best, and my anniversary review will discuss how those topics are affecting today’s readers. Check Window Manager for ideas from the past five years, if you like. Provide the date of any columns you wish to nominate, if you can, or describe the topic in general terms. Use “Top 10” as the subject line of your email.

Livingston’s latest book is Windows Me Secrets (IDG Books). Send tips to Brian Livingston.

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