Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+[, Ctrl+]: Increase, decrease font size in Word, Outlook & PowerPoint

Posted in Applications,Microsoft Outlook,Microsoft PowerPoint,Microsoft Word by estephen on June 28th, 2007

If you have selected text and want to change its point size, you can easily do so with a simple keystroke: Ctrl+[ (the square bracket key next to the letter P on most keyboards) will lower the selected text by 1 point. Tap it a few times to see the effect. Similarly, Ctrl+] increases the text size.

You can also use Ctrl+< and Ctrl+> — but while that may be easier to remember, you have to use the Shift key, so I prefer the square brackets. Also, that keystroke doesn’t work in Outlook.

(If you need to, you can review how to select text with the keyboard.)

Excel doesn’t allow any of these keystrokes. Excel is a bit of a fuddy-duddy that way, refusing to play along.

9 Responses to 'Ctrl+[, Ctrl+]: Increase, decrease font size in Word, Outlook & PowerPoint'

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  1. .qp. said,

    on December 6th, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Hello, thanks a lot for a good advice!

    However I have tried the Ctrl+ and seems to me it doesn’t work. At least not in the Outlook 2003. If anybody knows why please just leave me a note here..

    Anyway the first option is perfect :)


  2. .qp. said,

    on December 6th, 2007 at 4:12 am

    Sorry, it was not copied.. I meant these two shortcuts Ctrl+


  3. karl said,

    on April 3rd, 2008 at 8:18 am

    you sillyface, you hold CTRL and then press left bracket or right bracket, not the addition sign.

  4. shanmukh said,

    on October 7th, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Hey thanks a lot for that… I have been looking for this for years…. That’s a wonderful post.

  5. Steven said,

    on November 8th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Try WinKeyPlus ( It allows you to map custom hotkeys to commands for windows.

  6. Bob Marrs said,

    on July 6th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hold down Ctrl key and press + to make the size larger or – for smaller. Works like a champ.

  7. Ritu Sharma said,

    on August 19th, 2011 at 3:55 am

    How to increase Font Size in excel through Keyboard,,

    I found CTRL+Shift+ to increase and decrease but it not works in excel
    somebody help

  8. saeed said,

    on January 27th, 2013 at 3:42 pm


  9. Avneesh said,

    on August 13th, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Awesome! thanks for posting the shortcut. Google together with people like you make working so much easier!

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