MS Word: Focus mode

When I’m writing, I like to have a focussed environment, so I hack around with my editor to make it work for me. It’s a design principle pushed by Mac software such as writer, but not so much by Word. However, in Word 2013 (and 2010) you can hide the ribbon using Ctrl+F1, straight off the bat, without any customisation.

Hiding the ribbon but showing tabs

…But that’s not quite focussed enough!

If you click on the roller-blind icon next to Minimize, you can see more options:

Word 2013 display options

Word 2013 display options

‘Auto-hide Ribbon’ turns out to be what I was looking for. Word also calls it fullscreen mode. So, because I’m a keyboard shortcut person, I went into the shortcut editor (Right click the tabs or ribbon, and choose ‘Customize the Ribbon…’ and then look near the bottom for the ‘Keyboard shortcuts: [Customize]’ button).

Under ‘All Commands’, find your way to ToggleFull. I made it Ctrl+Shift+F1 (conventionally, shift would mean the inverse of show/hide the ribbon, and I would use Ctrl+Alt+F1, but I wasn’t allowed to assign that combination).


And here’s what fullscreen mode looks like:


Also, I missed the simplicity of pressing Ctrl+1, 2, or 3 to set Outline level like in LibreOffice, so I set up those shortcuts too. (Note that in Word, they are mapped by default to Ctrl+Alt+1 etc.)

If you’re wondering what my opinion of Word 2013 is, I think it’s great. It really makes a lot of things easy, but sometimes simple value-adding features (like an obvious focus mode) are left out. Thankfully it has customisation options that can make anything easier!

Hope you’re productive today!


Writing. I’ve started doing it.

I’m not as interested in story writing as I was when I was younger, but the allure of perfectly crafted ‘poetry’ is certainly great. ‘Poetry’, sadly, is a word I heartily dislike on the grounds of its connotations (heavyhearted middle-aged women, arty types, Romani gypsies and the crossover all thereof: Carol Ann Duffy)

It is things like this, when talented writers use the sublime in every day description, to which I aspire. For the time being, though, I have my little yet-to-be-named book of verse. I will be trying to widen my vocabulary, and then put it to sensible creative use. At the moment, my work has an 18th century flavour whimsy and romantic abandon born (as I well know) of immaturity. That, however, is how I feel like writing; I do not plan to remedy it soon.