ScreenTips are small popup windows that display when you hover your mouse over a button, or command, on the ribbon. They give a short hint indicating what that button does, and may also contain the shortcut key for that command.

Notice the two ScreenTips in the image above. One displays the shortcut used to make text bold, one does not. These shortcut keys in the ScreenTips are normally on by default. However, if you don’t see them and want to turn them on, we’ll show you how.

To begin, open Word, Excel, or Publisher and click the “File” tab. We’re using Word in our example, but turning on the ScreenTips in one of these programs also affects Excel and Publisher. Outlook is also affected by this change, but you can’t make the change in Outlook.

On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Advanced” in the list of items on the left.


Scroll down to the “Display” section and select the “Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips” check box so there is a check mark in the box.

Click “OK” to accept the change and close the “Word Options” dialog box.

Now, when you hover your mouse over a button on the ribbon, the shortcut key for that command displays in the ScreenTip.

This procedure applies to the ScreenTips that are built into Office. You can also create your own custom ScreenTips that display when you hover your mouse over a word, a phrase, or an image.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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