Sentence to Sentence

Microsoft Word provides several keyboard shortcuts to help you move around a document, which is important when you’re serious about editing efficiently. You may not know, however, that Word includes commands to move from sentence to sentence–highly useful for an editor! The commands aren’t mentioned in Word’s Help file, and they’re not assigned to any shortcut keys, but, sneaky guy that I am, I found them for you. The commands are:

SentRight (which will move to the next sentence)

SentLeft (which will move to the previous sentence)

To use these commands, you’ll probably want to assign them to shortcut keys (or use our Editor’s ToolKit program, which already has them assigned). Here’s the procedure:

1. Click the “Tools” menu at the top of your Word window.

2. Click “Customize.”

3. Click the “Keyboard” tab or button.

4. In the Categories list, find and click “All Commands.”

5. In the Commands list, find and click the command, such as “SentRight.”

6. With your cursor in the Press New Shortcut Key box, press the key combination you want to use. I’d recommend CTRL + ALT + RIGHT ARROW for SentRight and CTRL + ALT + LEFT ARROW for SentLeft, since these are probably not already in use on your computer.

7. Make sure the “Save Changes In” box shows

8. Click the “Assign” button. (If you wanted to remove the key combination, you’d click the “Remove” button.)

9. Click the “Close” button.

That’s it! Now you can merrily cruise from sentence to sentence as you edit your latest project.

As you edit, you’ll probably notice that you can’t hold down the SHIFT key and then select a sentence using the keys you’ve just defined. The commands, for some reason, don’t allow it. However, you can overcome this problem with two other commands:



You can assign these commands to some other key combinations. How about:



That should make the commands work just the way you’d want them to.



After reading last week’s article, “The Case against Caps,” Steve Dobney wrote:

“As a keen keyboard shortcut user I make great use of Shift + F3 (on the Mac) to toggle between capitalisation options. I think it’s the same for Windows.”

Yes, it is. Thanks for the great tip, Steve.

Bruce White wrote:

“I have attached to a button the Change Case item from the Format menu. It changes the capitalization of selected text each time it is pressed to the next one in the sequence: UPPERCASE, lowercase, and Title Case.

“For some reason Sentence case is not in the sequence. I suspect that you are meant to change it all to lower then select the first word and change it to title case.

“Colin Wheildon’s Type & Layout from Strathmoor Press (ISBN 0-9624891-5-8) has a bit to say against using uppercase. From his Table 5 on page 67:

lowercase Capitals

Roman old style 92% 69%

Roman modern 89% 71%

Sans serif 90% 57%

Optima 85% 56%

Square serif 64% 44%

“These numbers are for legibility of printed material.

“Note that the book includes the methodology used so that anyone wanting to see what results happen for online can follow the same approach.”

Thanks, Bruce, for the useful tip and interesting information.

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