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Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

When you are first getting used to Excel you will probably be focused on just getting your task done rather than learning how to work more efficiently. However, when you are ready to learn about the Excel keyboard shortcuts this lesson will teach you the most important and useful Excel shortcuts currently available.

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The benefits of using a keyboard shortcut are twofold:

  • It is quicker to keep your hand on the keyboard then shift from keyboard to mouse to keyboard
  • You will experience less stress on your muscles if you shift your hands less

We have divided the keyboard shortcuts into related areas. This way you can focus on learning a group of shortcuts at a time, rather than all at once!

Shortcut Help: Combination keyboard shortcuts, those that have a plus (i.e. Ctrl + S), require that you hold the first key (Control) then press the second key (S) while still holding down the first key.

Excel Shortcuts: Files

This small group of shortcuts is useful for opening, closing and saving your Excel workbooks.

  • Ctrl+S: Save your Excel workbook
  • Ctrl+O: Open an existing Excel workbook
  • Ctrl+N: Create a new Excel workbook

Excel Shortcuts: Editing

These are common shortcuts you will use to edit your Excel workbook. Our favorite shortcut in this list is, quite obviously, Ctrl+Z.

  • Ctrl+C: Copy the current selection to the clipboard. After you copy something, you can paste it with the paste shortcut.
  • Ctrl+V: Paste the current item from the clipboard.
  • Ctrl+X: Cut the current selection and place it on the clipboard, which can be pasted. The difference between cut and copy is that cut will delete your selection, while copy will not.
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo your last change. This is can be repeated to remove again and again to undo many changes.
  • Ctrl+Y: Redo your last Undo. This only is available if you have just issued an Undo command.
  • Backspace: Deletes the current cell and enters edit mode for that cell. This will only delete one cell and not a selection.
  • Delete: Deletes the current selection. Use the delete key when you want to delete more than one cell at a time.

Excel Shortcuts: Getting Around

These shortcuts will help you move around your Excel workbooks and worksheets with great ease!

  • Page Up: Move one page up in your worksheet
  • Page Down: Move one page down in your worksheet. Note: The number of rows moved in both page up and page down depend on how many rows are currently displayed. The more rows you have displayed the greater amount the row jump will be when you do a page up/down.
  • Ctrl+Home: Move to the beginning of your worksheet
  • Ctrl+End: Move to the end of your worksheet
  • Tab: Move right one column
  • Shift+Tab: Move left one column
  • Ctrl+Page Up: Go back one worksheet
  • Ctrl+Page Down: Go forward one worksheet. Note: If you are not using multiple worksheets in your workbook you will probably not use this shortcut!

Excel Shortcuts: Formatting

These shortcuts will help you quickly format your data.

  • Ctrl+B: Toggles bold on and off for your selection
  • Ctrl+I: Toggles italic on and off for your selection
  • Ctrl+U: Toggles underline on and off for your selection
  • Ctrl+1: Opens up the Format Cell popup



Excel Shortcuts: Menu

These shortcuts allow you to active the various options on the menu bar without have to mouse-click them. Note: These shortcuts use Alt as their combination key.

  • Alt+F: Accesses the File menu
  • Alt+E: Accesses the Edit menu
  • Alt+V: Accesses the View menu
  • Alt+I: Accesses the Insert menu
  • Alt+T: Accesses the Tools menu
  • Alt+D: Accesses the Data menu
  • Alt+W: Accesses the Window menu
  • Alt+H: Accesses the Help menu

After you have used one of these shortcuts you can use the arrow keys to navigate the menu choices and use the Enter key to select a choice.

Excel Shortcuts: Selecting

These shortcuts help you to quickly select items in your Excel file in various ways.

  • Shift+Spacebar: Select the current Row
  • Ctrl+Spacebar: Select the current column
  • Ctrl+A: Select All, will select everything on the current worksheet. This is most often used in conjunction with the copy shortcut.

Excel Shortcuts: Miscellaneous

And the two black sheep of the shortcut essentials:

  • F1: Opens up the quick help feature
  • Ctrl+P: Print your worksheet


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