The power of F2: An easier way to copy and move text in Microsoft Word

Today's tip is a quick but useful one for Microsoft Word users. We've often discussed how keyboard shortcuts are the key to making you more efficient. But sometimes you can find new keyboard shortcuts that are even more efficient than the ones you were using before.

Today, we're going to talk about one such set of shortcuts that make it just that little bit easier to cut/copy and paste text or images in Word. This works in Word 2007 through Word 2013.

Move to where?

To do a cut and paste without the hassle of the right-click or the ctrl+X, ctrl+V one-two punch, highlight the text or image you'd like to move and then hit the F2 key.

At the bottom left corner of the Word 2013 window, the program asks you "Move to where?" as you can see in the image below.


Shortcuts don't get much simpler than F2. (Click to enlarge.)

Move your mouse to the point in the document you want to insert the text or image, click, and then hit Enter.

That's it! Your selected text will be cut from where it was and pasted in the new spot.

Copy to where?

If you wanted to copy-and-paste your text or image, i.e. you want the same content to appear in two spots in your document, follow almost all of the same steps as above.

First select the text you want to copy, then hit shift + F2 and the phrase "Copy to where?" appears in the lower left corner of Word, as seen below.


Word's shift + F2 is a simple way to copy and move text once. (Click to enlarge.)

Next, move your mouse to where you want to put the new copy, click, hit Enter, and you're done.

One important note with both the F2 and shift + F2 shortcuts is that they only work once. This does not add the text or graphics to your clipboard for multiple paste jobs. Once you hit Enter that's it short of undoing your last action with ctrl + Z.

Using F2 instead of the usual keyboard shortcuts may take some getting used to, but it is just that little bit more efficient (and easier to remember) than the typical ctrl + [C, X, V] keyboard shortcuts.

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