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!