2 min read

Emacs key bindings in MS Word

Collaboration on grant proposals has forced me to spend a lot of time writing in MS Word lately. I find my self typing emacs key strokes and then getting annoyed when I have to move my hand over to the arrow keys. (It’s maybe not as bad as typing Markdown marks within a LaTeX document, which I’ve also been doing.)

A google search on the title of this post got me to this post. I should have looked before.

Following that suggestion, I was able to get these:

C-b – CharLeft C-f – CharRight C-e – EndOfLine C-p – LineUp C-n – LineDown C-a – StartOfLine C-v – PageDown

I can’t figure out how to have M-v for PageUp, though, because M-v seems permanently stuck to “√”.

The procedure, in MS Word 2011 for Mac, is:

  1. Tools → Customize Keyboard

  2. Select “All Commands” under “Categories:”

  3. Select the command (e.g., RightChar) under “Commands:”

  4. Press the keyboard shortcut in the “Press new keyboard shortcut” box

  5. Click the Assign button

  6. Repeat for the other commands you want

  7. Click OK

I needed two more, C-d and C-k; it took me a while to figure out how to do it, as there didn’t seem to be any built-in commands. But you can just record a macro. I created these:

C-dDeleteCharacter C-kKillLine

Here’s the procedure, in MS Word 2011 for Mac.

  1. Tools -> Macros -> Record Macro

  2. Give it a name with no spaces

  3. Click the keyboard button to assign a keystroke to it

  4. Select OK

  5. Type the set of key strokes

  6. Tools -> Macros -> Stop Recording

Womacs is a really extensive set of Visual Basic macros that looks really useful, but I was getting Visual Basic errors and didn’t want to spend any more time on it; grants to write…