Alt+Shift+F10: Open “Smart Tag” menu in Word, Excel & PowerPoint

When you’re using Excel 2003 or later, from time to time it’ll point out mistakes in your formulas or other observations by indicating a green triangle in the upper left of the cell, along with an exclamation point in a yellow diamond. The idea is you click on the diamond to see a menu with some options from Excel.

Clicking? Moi? Nope, instead of reaching for the mouse, just press Alt+Shift+F10, and the menu then opens. (Just have your cursor somewhere in the cell with the Smart Tag.) Once the menu appears, it’s just a regular menu, and you can use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow plus Enter to select an item, or press Esc to cancel.

Similarly, in Microsoft Word, sometimes you’ll be typing and Word will make a correction and show a blue double underline. Move your mouse to the underline and a yellow lightning bolt appears. Click on the lightning bolt and you’ll have some menu items to control the behavior of whatever automatic correction Word made.

Again, clicking? No need. The same Alt+Shift+F10 will open the Smart Tag menu in Word. Just have your cursor somewhere in the word with the double blue underline.

5 thoughts on “Alt+Shift+F10: Open “Smart Tag” menu in Word, Excel & PowerPoint”

  1. Thanks as always for the tips. I’m a huge fan of them, and this site.

    I find, though, that the alt-shift-f10 doesn’t work for me, but shift-f10 does. Anyone else? This was tested on Word 2007.

    BTW, the same tip works when using Firefox and you get a spelling error indicated while filling in a text area. It would also work on the desktop, when you want to right-click to change screen resolution, or on a browser page when you want to access the menu that lets you see the HTML source for a web page, etc.

    Finally, there’s yet another key–a single keystroke–to effect all the above. For those with a “windows keyboard” (where you have the “windows” key down next to the left Alt key, typically), you may notice another curious key, which has a picture of a menu with an arrow on it. On mine it’s next to the PrntScrn key. Called by some the “context key”, it’s used for the same thing as discussed in this tip: to pull up the context menu for wherever the cursor is currently located.

    Hope that’s helpful. Keep up the good work!

  2. estephen – thanks for the explanation. Much clearer than MS’s, which erroneously states that the smart tagged word need only be “visible”. (I’m in Word ’03). The alt-shift-f10 is a bit ungainly, but it makes sense as an alternate of shift-f10. I wish it were mappable (shift-rightWin would be golden),

  3. Is there any way to turn off smart tags as a default in Word? I turn them off, but they return when I cut & paste, when I change fonts, when I save, when I open a file, and at random. They are like herpes for Microsoft Windows. I seriously am considering changing to Ubuntu to end all this absolutely needless clicking and typing. I hate wasting time and I hate having to repeat myself.. this of course is both.

  4. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my website =). We may have a hyperlink trade contract among us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *