Consider the following text, with the cursor placed at the end of the text (in place of where the vertical bar is):

Don't test me sunshine|

Pressing Ctrl+Backspace will yield the following in certain cases (e.g. when there is a space/more words after the cursor):

Don't test me|

I would much rather prefer the following result (with the space in place):

Don't test me |

Is there an option where I can force this behaviour?

  • Use the other keyboard shortcut for delete word, CTRL+Backspace and then Space. – ta.speot.is Apr 21 '13 at 0:51
  • 2
    Out of all the programs I use, Microsoft Word is the only one I noticed that deletes the space with Ctrl + Backspace. Very strange and annoying - wish there was a better solution than the marked answer. – StronglyTyped Dec 23 '15 at 13:25
  • Outlook also has this behaviour for me unfortunately. And I believe it hasn‘t been there always and only since 2010 (but maybe I remember this wrong) – bugybunny Nov 1 '18 at 10:21

I believe this is considered a feature (as most users would also want the space removed). I don't know of anyway to configure the Ctrl + Backspace behavior.

One alternative would be to hold Ctrl + Shift and then Left Arrow to highlight the word. Then press the Spacebar.

  • Thanks, I guess I expected this. Though I wasn't aware of the word highlight shortcut, that might be useful. – Wk_of_Angmar Apr 22 '13 at 17:18

After some hunting on the net, I found this feature is optional (kind of).

Word options->Advanced->Cut, Copy and Paste->Use smart cut and paste->Settings->Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically.

Source: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_windows8/control-backspace-deletes-previous-word-and-the/aa87aa3d-5928-4dd1-9266-b914f9c14620?auth=1

Note: This solves the problem when writing a new paragraph, but when deleting words with more words following it the same default behaviour occurs.

For example (if | represents the cursor/"insertion point"):

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet|

Then Ctrl + Backspace works as normal (with or without a space before the cursor):

Lorem ipsum dolor sit |

But in the case of:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit| amet

With the cursor directly after the word to be deleted, Ctrl + Backspace will result in Word's default behaviour:

Lorem ipsum dolor| amet

As far as I can tell this isn't in the settings, so bear in mind that there's a bit of inconsistent behaviour if Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically is turned off.

  • It's probably not as common as you might think and it's behavior is a matter of opinion. Your suggestion would mean that a user that wants to remove a work would have to hit Backspace and additional time after removing a word in order to avoid a double space. There are pros and cons to both behaviors. – Seth Oct 11 '16 at 10:27
  • 1
    @Seth you're right, I can see why the inconsistent behaviour might be preferable for some. Personally, the reason I see this is as undesirable is because not removing the space is the default behaviour for all of the applications that I do a lot of typing in (browsers, text editors, IDEs, etc.). The typing style I've come to adopt involves a lot of Ctrl + Backspace to fix spelling errors or replace words, whether that's at the end of a paragraph or in the middle of one. It's frustrating for me to then go write in Word and have to interrupt myself to insert extra spaces. – Grimeh Oct 12 '16 at 15:47
  • Not really a solution but maybe an acceptable workaround? Mark the word using Ctrl+Shift+Left Arrow and afterwards delete it using either Del or Backspace. Suggestion from the answers of that question: Microsoft Word deletes a space along with the word when pressing Ctrl+Backspace. How do I prevent it from removing the space? – Seth Oct 13 '16 at 5:45

If Ctrl+Shift+Left Arrow and then Backspace is the desired behaviour:

  1. Create a macro of that behaviour, in Word press Alt+F11
  2. Under Normal, Right click on the Modules folder, then Insert > Module
  3. Paste the below macro Should look something like this
  4. Assign it to Ctrl+Backspace

    (File --> Options --> Customize Ribbon --> Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize...
    Categories: Macros Find your newly created macro


Sub CtrlBackspace()  
' CtrlBackspace Macro
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
End Sub

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