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This is a collection of literal and figurative shortcuts that I find invaluable when marking practical assessment files (Word documents, Excel workbooks, HTML files, etc.). I also teach my Learners these shortcuts as I believe that having them understand how their work is assessed offers them a huge advantage.

In this post:

  1. Shortcuts (literally)
    1. Microsoft Word
    2. Microsoft Excel
  2. Shortcuts (figuratively)
    1. Checking HTML code with AgentRansack

1. Shortcuts (literally)

1.1 Microsoft Word

This shortcut toggles the Show/Hide button on and off so that you can view or hide formatting marks. You must use the “8” key above the letters on the keyboard and not the “8” on the keypad.

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.

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:

Viewing the field code for a Table of Contents in Word.

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

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.

This will activate search in the Navigation pane. Use it to search for spacing errors; type two spaces in the search box and it should return no results, confirming that there are no double-spacing errors. I always search for: spaces before full stops, commas, exclamation marks and questions marks. For a full description of what to search for visit Checking spacing in a Word document.

1.2 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.

Excel TRIM, CLEAN & FIND example
Excel TRIM, CLEAN & FIND example

2. Shortcuts (figuratively)

2.1 Checking HTML code with AgentRansack

AgentRansack is a free advanced search utility. Use it to check HTML code in multiple files without even opening them.

Search for alt attributes in all HTML files in a folder.
  1. Use the wildcard operator to search for all HTML files
  2. containing the strings img & alt
  3. in the website folder.
  4. Click Start
  5. to return a set of HTML files
  6. with contents highlighted in the Hits panel

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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