I get a weekly list of tips from WordRibbontips. This week’s list included instructions for making CTRL+F work traditionally; that is, making it open the ‘Find’ dialogue box as it used to, rather than opening a search and navigation pane as it does in Word 2010. The change to this function has been driving me mad, because I find the pane clunky, and I almost always want to refine my search in some way (e.g. by matching the caps, or finding whole words only). It’s possible to get into the ‘Find’ dialogue box from the search pane via a drop-down list, but doing that is much more cumbersome than just pressing CTRL+F.
It hadn’t occurred to me to change the shortcut key. However, prompted by WordRibbontips, I followed the instructions, and now CTRL+F is working as it used to.