Word 2013 (Office 365) has actions assigned to some key combinations that are needed to type normal characters for example on Swiss, German and Canadian French keyboard layouts.

The most annoying ones are these (my layout is Swiss German, but German forums are full of complaints about the opening square bracket not working in Word, too):

                Swiss-German       German         Canadian French
Ctrl+Alt+7      |                  {              |
Ctrl+Alt+8      ¢                  [              2 (superscript) 
Ctrl+Alt+[      [                                 [
Ctrl+Alt+]      ]                  ~              ]

It is possible to use Alt Gr (right ctrl) to access these characters, but in my 10-finger typing system I use my left hand to press the Ctrl and Alt keys and my right hand to press the 7/8/[/] keys. I challenge you to press Alt Gr and 7 with only your right hand and without taking your eyes from the screen ;-)

1 Answer 1


This forum post helped me understand the problem and solution.

To figure out what command is assigned to your key combination, go to Insert - Symbol - "More Symbols...", then "Shortcut Key...". Focus the field labeled "Press new shortcut key" and press the problematic combination. If an action is already assigned to that key combination, its ID will be displayed just below.

Some problematic action ids are:

Ctrl+Alt+7    OfficeFeedbackSmile
Ctrl+Alt+8    OfficeFeedbackFrown
Ctrl+Alt+[    ShrinkFontOnePoint
Ctrl+Alt+]    GrowFontOnePoint

Once you know the action ID it is possible to remove the binding by going to the Word Options - Customize Ribbon - "Customize...". There is a category "All Commands", which makes it easy to find the ID (see screenshot below).

  • 1
    Thank you very much for your answer. For me the crucial information was to look for the shortcut under "all commands" in the Customize Ribbon menu. If you go to "Home" for some reason the shortcut is not listed under "ShrinkFontOnePoint". Thanks a million!!!!
    – Toni
    Jun 29, 2017 at 15:51

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