Cross-Platform Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2016

The good news for MacOS users is that support for cross-platform keyboard shortcuts in Office 2016 has dramatically improved; potential downsides include the cross-platform shortcuts are PC-centric, and may interfere with some default Mac OS key assignments you may be accustomed to using (e.g., switching between desktops, or Show Desktop). You can also make the Ribbon appear more like the Windows one by enabling the Group Titles*, which can make finding a particular tool easier, particularly if you are using our workshop materials in self-study mode.

To enable the Control key shortcuts for Office 2016 for Mac, the process is simple, but the labeling is less-helpful than many might wish. To enable the cross-platform shortcuts, Click System Preferences… -> Click Keyboard -> Click the Shortcuts tab, and then Click the “All controls” radio button. Closing the window will keep your changes.

When enabling the cross-platform keyboard shortcuts, the dialog box will look like:
System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, with All controls radio button selected

Be aware that not all Windows keyboard shortcuts will work on the MacOS version! The following Microsoft Support documents provide much more detail about the actual keyboard shortcuts for a particular Office 2016 application (as well as which ones may require further changes to Systems Preferences settings).

* The control for toggling the Group Titles on or off on the Ribbon in Office 2016 for Mac applications is in the Preferences for that application. To activate them, on the menu bar, Click [application name], Click Preferences…, Click the View button and put a tick mark in the checkbox for the group titles. Be aware the different applications’ actual labeling for that Group Titles control varies slightly, but once you are in that View dialog box, it should be fairly evident since it will contain that phrase. To remove the group titles from the Ribbon, simply repeat the steps, and toggle the control off.

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