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I find the following shortcuts invaluable when marking practical assessment files (Word documents, Excel workbooks, etc.). I also teach my Learners these shortcuts as I believe it gives them a huge advantage.

Microsoft Word

SHIFT+F1
This shortcut displays the “Reveal Formatting” panel which can be used to quickly and easily expose all the formatting applied in a document. It is especially handy that the formatting is categorised and the category headings are clickable links that open the dialogue boxes relevant to the category of formatting.

ALT + ←
When you test a hyperlink that has its target in the same document by CTRL-clicking it, remember to ALT + ← (left-arrow key) to return to the hyperlink itself.

ALT + F9
This keystroke combination will toggle the Field Codes of any fields in the document. One of the more difficult things to assess is a Table of Contents. Using this keystroke combination enables you to see for example how many levels the TOC is based on. In screengrabs below you can see the TOC is based on the standard 3 levels:

Visit the following links for an in-depth insight into the TOC:

CTRL + G
This is the shortcut for Go To (part of the Find and Replace dialogue window). It is useful for confirming the existence and location of Bookmarks, Citations and much more.

CTRL + F
This will activate search in the Navigation pane. Use it to search for spacing errors – type to spaces in the search box and it should return no results – this confirms there are no double-spacing errors. I always search for: spaces before full-stops, commas, exclamation marks and questions marks.

Microsoft Excel

CTRL + ~
The CTRL + ~ (tilde) combination displays the actual contents of the cell (as displayed in the Formula Bar) in the cell in which it exists itself. It is particularly helpful when scanning a worksheet for any additional “building blocks”-type calculation that may have been made in not-so-obvious cells.


I also make extensive use of Macros and VBA. Here is a VBA primer if you are interested in learning this skill.

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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