Now, even when you are familiar with Microsoft Excel, you might be pleasantly surprised that there is a wide range of keyboard shortcuts that can boost your productivity and make your life much easier.
- Basic Shortcuts
- General Help
MS Excel shortcut keys differentiate the beginners from the pros, but with hundreds of shortcuts in Excel, do you need to learn them all?
Of course not!
No one can memorize all these keyboard combos, but some shortcut keys are more useful than others.
Just by learning the basic shortcut keys in Excel can improve your productivity by 300% or more.
Even though our list of Excel shortcuts is massive, it’s not a complete list. But learning just a few from this list can turn you from an Excel beginner, into an advanced Excel user!
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Basic Shortcut Keys in Excel
Beginner and advanced Excel users may or may not have known some of these keyboard combinations for Excel. Some are general Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts, while others are specifically for MS Excel.
These 27 basic shortcut keys in Excel, can potentially improve your productivity by 300%.
- Ctrl + N: Create a new workbook
- Ctrl + O: Open an existing workbook
- Ctrl + S: Save a workbook
- F12: Open the save as dialog box
- Ctrl + Tab: Go to next open workbook
- Ctrl + W: Close a workbook
- Alt + F4: Close all open Excel files
- Ctrl + F9: Minimize the workbook window
- Shift + F11: Insert a new worksheet
- Ctrl + P: Open print menu
- Ctrl + F2: Open print preview window
- Ctrl + F: Search in the spreadsheet
- Ctrl + H: Find and replace
- Ctrl + Shift + F4: Find previous match
- Shift + Arrow keys: Select highlighted selections
- Ctrl + A: Select all selections
- Ctrl + X: Cut highlighted cells
- Ctrl + C: Copy highlighted cells
- Ctrl + V: Paste previously copied information
- Ctrl + Alt + V: Display paste special dialogue box
- Ctrl + Y: Redo previous action
- Ctrl + Z: Undo previous action
- F4: Repeat the last command or action. Eg. if the previous action, you’ve typed in a cell is “Go!” or if you change the font color. Click another cell and pressing F4. It will repeat that action in the new cell.
- Ctrl + B: Bold the selected text
- Ctrl + I: Italics the selected text
- Ctrl + U: Underline the selected text
- Ctrl + F4: Close Excel
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General Help and Setting
Before we jump into the advanced user guide to excel shortcuts, let’s look into some simple shortcuts to general help and settings.
- F1: Open help menu
- F7: Check spelling
- Alt or F10: On or off key tips
- Ctrl + F1: Show or hide the ribbon
- Ctrl + Shift + U: Expand or collapse the formula bar
- Alt > F > T: Open option menu
Tab Navigation in Excel
Excel Tab navigation can also be easily done with a click of the mouse, but Tab navigation shortcut keys can be helpful when you don’t want to move your hands between your keyboards and your mouse.
For the highly advanced users, you may want to switch between Tabs quickly using your keyboards.
- Alt > A: Go to the Data tab
- Alt > F: Open the File tab menu
- Alt > H: Go to the Home tab
- Alt > M: Go to the Formulas tab
- Alt > N: Open the Insert tab
- Alt > P: Go to the Page Layout tab
- Alt > R: Go to the Review tab
- Alt > W: Go to the View tab
- Alt > X: Go to the Add-ins tab
- Alt > Y: Go to the Help tab
Moving Around in a Worksheet or Cell
Using keyboard shortcuts to get around the worksheet and moving between cells can be a great time-saver when working on Excel. Keyboard shortcuts are applicable to Google Sheet as well.
- Left/Right Arrow: Move one cell to the left or right
- Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow: Move to the cell most left or right in the row
- Up/Down Arrow: Move one cell up or down
- Ctrl + Up/Down Arrow: Move to the cell most top or bottom in the column
- Tab: Go to the next cell
- Shift + Tab: Go to the previous cell
- Ctrl + End: Go to the most bottom right used cell
- F5: Go to any cell by pressing F5. Type the cell coordinate or cell name.
- Home: Go to the leftmost cell in the current row, or go to the beginning of the cell if editing a cell
- Ctrl + Home: Move to the beginning of a worksheet
- Page Up/Down: Move one screen up or down in a worksheet
- Alt + Page Up/Down: Move one screen to the right or left in a worksheet
- Ctrl + Page Up/Down: Move to the previous or next worksheet
Selecting cell contents in Excel is one of the most used commands. These shortcut keys can save you plenty of time, especially if you are working on a huge worksheet with lots of data. PS. Keyboard shortcuts are applicable to Google Sheet as well.
- Shift + Left/Right Arrow: Extend the cell selection to the left or right
- Shift + Space: Select the entire row
- Ctrl + Space: Select the entire column
- Ctrl + Shift + Space: Select the entire worksheet
- Ctrl + A: Select all cells in the worksheet
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Excel Filter Shortcuts
The key function of Excel is the ability to filter and sort data with a simple click of the mouse, or by filter shortcut keys. By displaying only the rows that meet certain conditions, using the stored data, you can quickly find the information you want.
Start by creating a filter for a range of data, here are some filter shortcut keys to boost your productivity.
- Ctrl + Shift + L: Apply or clear filter of a range of data (Toggle filter function On/Off)
- Alt + Down Arrow: Display filter menu for a column
- Up/Down Arrow: Selecting menu items in filter
- Spacebar: Check or Uncheck items in filter
- Enter: Apply selected filtering command
- S: Sort by ascending order, after filter menu is displayed
- O: Sort by descending order, after filter menu is displayed
- T: Sort by color, after filter menu is displayed
- E: Search by text, after filter menu is displayed
- Alt + Down Arrow > F > F: Open custom filter dailog box
- Alt + Down Arrow > F > E > Enter: Display blank cells
- Alt + Down Arrow > F > N > Enter: Display non-blank cells
- Alt + Down Arrow > C: Clear filter in column
- Alt > A > C: Clear all filters
Edit Cell in Excel using Keyboard Shortcuts
Shortcut keys used to edit a cell in excel is especially useful when you are using a laptop that doesn’t come with a mouse. Press F2 to get into the editing mode of a cell without double-clicking with a cursor is just one of the many tips to make your work easier.
- F2: Edit a cell
- Shift + F2: Add or edit a cell comment
- Alt + Enter: Insert a new line within a cell (when editing a cell)
- Ctrl + X: Cut contents of selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert: Copy contents of selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert: Paste contents of selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + Alt + V: Open the Paste Special dialog box
- Ctrl + 9: Hide the selected rows
- Ctrl + 0: Hide the selected columns
- Ctrl + Shift + (: Unhide any hidden rows within the selection
- Ctrl + Shift + ): Unhide any hidden columns within the selection
- F3: Paste a cell name (when the cells are named in the worksheet)
- Alt > H > D > C: Delete column
- Delete: Remove the contents of selected data, or selected cell range
- Esc: Cancel an entry in a cell or the formula bar
- Enter: Complete an entry in a cell or the formula bar
Format Text in Excel Cell
Changing text format in excel can be time-consuming, but it can easily be done with some Excel format text shortcut keys. Keyboard shortcuts are applicable to Google Sheet as well.
- Ctrl + B: Add or remove bold to selected contents of a cell, selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + I: Add or remove italics to selected contents of a cell, selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + U: Add or remove underline to selected contents of a cell, selected data, or selected cell range
- Ctrl + 1: Open the Format Cells dialog box
- Ctrl + 5: Apply or remove strikethrough
- Ctrl + Shift + $: Apply Currency format
- Ctrl + Shift + %: Apply Percent format
- Ctrl + Shift + ~: Apply General format
- Ctrl + Shift + #: Apply Date format
- Ctrl + Shift + @: Apply Time format
- Ctrl + Shift + !: Apply Number format
- Ctrl + Shift + ^: Apply Exponential Number format
Format Cells with Color
Formatting the color of your cell can make your worksheet appear more professional. Color coding of cells can help you visually when scanning through hundred of data. Instead of clicking your mouse all over the screen, you can easily create a professional-looking worksheet with these simple shortcut keys.
- Alt > H > H: Select a fill color
- Alt > H > H > N: Select cell color as No-Fill
- Alt > H > H > M: Select cell color as More color
Format Borders in Excel
Format or create a border of your cell is generally done with the border Tab. Which generally requires 2 to 3 clicks of the mouse.
Selected Cells > Border Tab > Click the specific piece of cell border.
Alternatively, you can quickly apply your borders with keyboard shortcuts without touching your mouse.
- Alt > H > B: Add a border
- Ctrl + Shift + &: Apply outline border
- Ctrl + Shift + _: Remove outline border
If you want more controls in formatting your cell borders, you can use the Format cell dialog box.
Press Ctrl + 1 to display the format cell dialog box, followed by:
- Alt > T: Apply or remove the top border
- Alt > B: Apply or remove the bottom border
- Alt > L: Apply or remove the left border
- Alt > R: Apply or remove the right border
- Alt > H: Apply or remove the horizontal divider if cells in multiple rows are selected
- Alt > V: Apply or remove the vertical divider if cells in multiple columns are selected
- Alt > D: Apply or remove the downward diagonal border
- Alt > U: Apply or remove the upward diagonal border
Creating charts is one of the main functions when working with MS Excel. In fact, you can create a chart simply with these shortcut keys.
- F11: Create a bar chart with the selected data (Separate Sheet)
- Alt + F1: Create an embedded bar chart with the selected data (Same Sheet)
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
Unless you are an Excel advanced user, you will probably be unfamiliar with VBA. To many, VBA seems to be like magic, where it transforms you into a programmer in Excel.
- Alt + F11: Open the Microsoft Visual Basic For Applications Editor (VBA Editor)
- Alt + F8: Create, run, edit, or delete a macro
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Want to get better in Excel?
The key to improving your skills in Excel is to practice and practice. As you use the shortcut keys more often, it will become your second nature.
In fact, I find myself rarely using the mouse when working on Excel. These Excel shortcut keys have improved my productivity by at least 7X.
No one expects you to memorize all of them, but learning the shortcuts that suits your needs will exponentially improve your productivity.
Applicable to Microsoft Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, Excel 2019, and Office 365.
Hopefully, this useful Excel shortcut cheat sheet can make you into an even better Excel advanced user!
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