Excel keyboard shortcuts

keyboard shortcuts

Health Warning: Massive geekiness alert. The fastest way around Excel is keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are like mnemonics, like a quick way to tell the computer what you want to accomplish. You can easily chain them together, like on a Bloomberg terminal. When entered in the correct order, they become shorthand for what you want to accomplish. Knowing how to navigate your way around using good keyboard habits signficantly increases your productivity on this platform.
Name What it does My comments
Ctrl + 1 Allows you to format the way cells are displayed Very powerful, allows you to control how Excel displays the values of cells, building upon the data that it stores, based on what it does.
Ctrl + F3 Inserts a new Name Helpful if you are using good spreadsheet design and using names for key conceptual values and ranges. Similar to Insert > Names > Define
Ctrl + + Insert Inserts a row, column, or cell, depeding on what you have selected. Useful when combined with the various shortcuts to quickly select groups of cells.
Ctrl + – Deletes Depending on what you have selected, it will delete cells, rows or columns
Ctrl + Space Selects a column Depending on how many cells you have selected, Excel’s selection will expand out to the full column in which cells are selected.
Shift + Space Selects a row Expands the currently selected cells out to the complete row.
Alt + e + s + v Paste Special of Values only A hidden gem…whatever is in your clipboard is pasted into the selected cells, but only the values, so you drop any formulas driving the values. Especially useful when using Excel to format data in a particular way, but you don’t want it to change “types” without you knowing, or alternatively when you want to force a change, such as forcing a date to become a string.
Ctrl + PgUp or PgDown Changes the active worksheet Moves to the next or preceding worksheet in your workbook.
F2 Edit the cell’s contents Moves the focus into the active cell’s contents, so that you can edit it using the keyboard.
F4 In edit mode, switches between absolute and relative references, otherwise like Redo Adds or takes away the $ before the row and column values, giving you control over what changes and what stays the same when you fill down or right. If you aren’t editing a cell, it works similar to Redo.
Alt + e + d Clear selection Deletes the contents of all of the selected cells. Quite handy once you get used to it.
Ctrl + B Bolds text Every time you make a column header…does come in handy.
Alt + Shift + F1 Adds new worksheet Fast. Very fast.
Ctrl + R Fill Right Copies the formula in the currently selected cell to the right
Ctrl + Shift + ~ Clears a number of all formatting Actually it formats it in “General” format to be precise.
Ctrl + U Underline Like bolding via Ctrl + B, good to know about if you work in Excel via shortcuts.
7 Responses to “Excel keyboard shortcuts”
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