How to Display Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips in Microsoft Word

388017 How to Display Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips in Microsoft Word

Being able to see keyboard shortcuts directly in Microsoft Word can save you time and effort while working. Rather than trying to memorize shortcuts or search for them when needed, you can enable ScreenTips to show shortcuts, command names, and help links right on screen.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:

  • Enable ScreenTips in Word to show shortcuts
  • Understand the limitations of built-in tips
  • View all keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac
  • Customize tips for bookmarks and links

Enable ScreenTips in Word

The first step is to enable the ScreenTips feature in Word, which displays extra information when you hover over items:

To enable ScreenTips:

  1. Go to the File tab and select Options.
  2. Click General on the left.
  3. Under User Interface Options, check the box for Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips.

Enable ScreenTips in Word Options

Once enabled, you’ll see ScreenTips with command names, keyboard shortcuts, and links to Help when hovering over elements in Word:

Word ScreenTip example

This makes it easier to learn what actions can be taken as you work without having to memorize all the shortcuts up front.

Limitations of Built-In Shortcut Tips

While ScreenTips show many useful shortcuts in Word, there seem to be limitations around which shortcuts are displayed.

For example, ubiquitous shortcuts like Ctrl+Shift+H to highlight text are not shown in tips. Other common actions like inserting page breaks and sections also lack tips.

This appears to be due to how ScreenTips are implemented in Word rather than a setting you can adjust. So it’s good to be aware that you won’t see every possible shortcut in the hovers.

Viewing Shortcuts on Windows vs. Mac

When enabled, ScreenTips work a bit differently on Windows vs. Mac:

On Windows

  • Hovering over ribbon icons shows shortcuts in the ScreenTips
  • Hover text also underlined to indicate clickable commands

On Mac

  • ScreenTips on Mac do not show shortcuts
  • Instead, shortcuts are displayed in the right-click menus
  • No special hover styling or underlines

So Windows users get the benefit of seeing shortcuts directly in the tips, while Mac users will have to consult the menus.

View All Keyboard Shortcuts

To supplement the ScreenTips, you can view a full list of all keyboard shortcuts available in Word easily:

On Windows:

  1. Go to the Help tab
  2. Click Word Help
  3. Search for “keyboard shortcuts”

On Mac:

  1. Go to the Help menu
  2. Click Word Help
  3. Search for “keyboard shortcut”

Here you can browse and search to find shortcuts for any action, organized by area like formatting text, viewing documents, and more.

Word Help keyboard shortcuts

Use this whenever you want to see if there’s a shortcut for something not covered in the ScreenTips.

Customize ScreenTips for Bookmarks & Links

While built-in ScreenTips are limited, you can create custom tips to provide more helpful information on links and bookmarks you add:

To customize a hyperlink ScreenTip:

  1. Select the link text
  2. Right-click and choose Hyperlink
  3. Click the ScreenTip button
  4. Enter the desired ScreenTip text
  5. Click OK

For a bookmark:

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the bookmark
  2. Go to Insert > Bookmark
  3. Enter the bookmark name
  4. Click the ScreenTip button
  5. Enter the ScreenTip text
  6. Click Add

Now when hovering over your links or bookmarks, you’ll see your custom text rather than the default tips.

Custom bookmark ScreenTip example

Use this to provide more details on what the link or bookmark points to.

Recap and Next Steps

You should now be able to:

  • Display command names, shortcuts, and help in ScreenTips
  • Know the limitations around built-in tips
  • Find full keyboard shortcut lists for Windows and Mac
  • Create custom ScreenTips for your links and bookmarks

Next time you’re working in Word, try hovering over some icons to see the handy shortcuts. And if you ever have a question on how to do something, the Word Help system is just a click away.

Enabling ScreenTips can save you time as you work by putting useful information right at your fingertips. Refer to this guide anytime you need a refresher on how they work.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

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