Top 40 of the Best Excel Shortcuts You Need to Know


[Image Source: Hooton & Microsoft]

Almost everyone uses Excel in some form or fashion in the modern workforce, but many of us may be wasting a little too much time trying to format those pesky spreadsheets. In order to help you work a little bit faster, or maybe more efficiently, we have assembled 40 of the best Excel shortcuts that you need to know!

F2 : Edit selected cell

By pressing F2, Excel will enter cell edit mode with the cursor at the end of the cell. A hand shortcut for making quick changes.

F4 : Repeat last edit

Pressing F4 will repeat your last action or edit. If you want to repaste something again or repeat a formula insert, this key will save time.

CTRL + ALT + F9 : Calculates all worksheets

Using this Excel shortcut force calculates all worksheets that have open workbooks.

F11 : New chart

Using F11 is a handy and quick way to create a new chart without having to navigate through Excel’s native toolbars. When you have data selected and press F11, a default chart will automatically appear with the selected data inside.

ALT : Access the ribbon for formulas

Pressing the ALT key makes small letters appear on the toolbar ribbons. These are called KeyTips which will help you navigate the ribbons using only your keyboard.

ALT + = : Automatically SUM() selected

If you have a block of data and you want to add all of the columns and the rows, using this command will Autosum the data and put all of the equations in one swoop. Make sure you include a spare column on the right and a spare row on the bottom for the summation data.

ALT + EnterStart a new line in the same cell

This shortcut is handy for those of us who need to put a lot of data into one cell. It essentially functions as a line break inside of a cell. If you need to write a large paragraph inside a worksheet, knowing this function is essential.

ALT + H + O + I : Autosize columns

This shortcut functions as more of a sequence. First press Alt + H to naviate to the home tab. Then type O to select the format menu (while still holding Alt). Then type I to autofit the column width.

PG + UP : Go to next worksheet

This command switches worksheet tabs to the right.

PG + DOWN : Go to previous worksheet

This command switches worksheet tabs to the left.

CTRL + ` : Display Formulas

By using this Excel shortcut you can quickly switch between displaying a cell’s formula and its values in a snap.

CTRL + Backspace : Show active cell

If you have absolutely no idea where the active cell your working on is because you scrolled so far, this one is for you. Pressing CTRL + Backspace will quickly navigate your window right back to the active cell.

CTRL + Shift + # : Change Date format with day, month and year

This shortcut quickly gives you access to the default date format.

CTRL + K : To insert Hyperlink

First, you need to select where you want a hyperlink to appear. Then press these keystrokes and the insert hyperlink box appears, making the process that much easier.

CTRL+ Shift + $ : Applies the currency format to the selected cells

If you quickly want to change a cell to the currency format, you can select it and hit this shortcut. It will apply to multiple cells as well if you have them selected.

CTRL + Shift + & : Applies border to cells

Instead of navigating through endless menus, use this Excel shortcut to quickly add borders to the cells you have selected. Borders are generally a good idea to use if you want to organize your worksheet and make it more professional.

CTRL + B : Bold

Use this to quickly bold or unbold a cell or text.

CTRL + I : Italics

Use this to quickly italicize or un-italicize a cell or text.

CTRL + U : Underline

Use this to quickly underline or un-underline a cell or text.

CTRL + Shift + ~ : General style number

This command styles your cell to a general style number.

CTRL + Shift + % : Percentage style Number

This command styles your cell to a percentage style number. Make sure your original number has the right number of decimals. If you want 20 percent, you will need to have .2 in the cell before formatting.

CTRL + Shift + ^  : Scientific notation style

Working with a big number? Use this shortcut to quickly convert to scientific notation. This useful for all us engineers out there.

CTRL + Shift + @ : Time Style

This shortcut will give you quick access to the time of day style and allow you to add it into a cell.

CTRL + Shift + ! : Number Style

Using this will give you access to a cells number style.

CTRL + F12 : Open

Forgot that the data you needed was in another workbook? Hit this shortcut and quickly navigate to opening another file.

CTRL + SpacebarSelect the entire column

Instead of using your mouse to click on the header, use this shortcut to automatically select the entire column that you are working in.

CTRL + [ : Select all cells directly referenced by formulas in the selection

This shortcut is especially useful in excel worksheets that have seemingly endless formulas. If you quickly want to see what cells are referenced in a nother cell, use this Excel shortcut to see them. Of all of the shortcuts, this one I use the most as it keeps me from having to look through a formula and see what is referenced where.

CTRL + ; : Insert actual date in active cell

Can’t get a date? Hit this shortcut to get one quickly. (Only works in Excel, not real life)

CTRL + : : Insert actual time in active cell

Need to remember right when you input some data into your spreadsheet? Using this function will place the exact current time in a cell of your choosing.

CTRL + A : Select All

If you are frustrated with your worksheet and just and to start over, use this shortcut to select all and delete. When the frustration abides and you want all your work back, just hit CTRL + Z and your job will be saved.

CTRL + Shift + J : List Constants

Hitting this will list your properties/methods/constants within a worksheet.

CTRL + D : Copy equation down

This command will make an exact copy of the formulas in the cell above it. Useful for repeating cells or if you want a new cell with a slightly altered formula quickly.

CTRL + F : Find

Forgot where you put that crucial piece of data, use this shortcut to quickly find it.

CTRL + H : Find&Replace

If you misspelled a word or just want to replace something with a new something, the find and replace function is the best way to go about it.

CTRL + Right arrow : Move right

Essentially, this pages right in your Excel worksheet.

CTRL + Left arrow : Move left

This does the same thing as the page right above, except it pages left.

CTRL + Up arrow : Move up

Use this function to page up in a worksheet.

CTRL + Down arrow : Move down

Use this function to page down in a worksheet.

CTRL + Enter : Same data in multiple cells

If you need to enter the same data into various cells, this function allows you to do it incredibly quickly.

Shift + SpacebarSelect the entire row

If you are working in a cell and realize you need to select the entire row that cell is in, hitting this Excel shortcut will automatically select the row. You can then delete the entire row or make whatever changes you think are necessary.

Shift + F3 : Find Previous

If something in your data is starting to look a little repetitive, you can use this shortcut to make sure you aren’t just going crazy. Find Previous is especially useful for finding patterns in a spreadsheet or seeing when something occurred before.

Using some of these shortcuts can seem tedious at first, but as soon as you get the motions down, it can speed up your work pace by a lot! All of these shortcuts should work on Windows machines, but Mac keystrokes will likely be different. Some will be similar but others won’t exist. If you know of a Mac shortcut that does the same as some of the shortcuts listed here, post them in the comments to help everyone out!

If we missed anything, or you just want to share your favorite Excel shortcut, let us know in the comments!

SEE ALSO: Best Hidden Tricks in Microsoft Excel


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