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20 Excel Keyboard Shortcuts that will Impress Your Boss

20 Excel Keyboard Shortcuts Cover2

Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

In this tutorial, I am sharing my top 20 Excel Keyboard shortcuts that can help you speed up your work and save a lot of time.
How to use interpret keyboard shortcuts: CONTROL + T would mean press the Control key and then press the T key. CONTROL T would mean hold the Control key and press the T key.

#1 Auto Sum

If you have numbers in a column/row, you can quickly get the sum by using this Excel keyboard shortcut.
ALT =
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 1

#2 Paste as Values

When you copy and paste a cell or a range of cells, it also copies the value, the formula in it, and the formatting. If you only want to copy the values, use the following keyboard shortcut.
ALT + E + S + V + ENTER
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 2
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#3 Fill Down

This one would help you while entering data in Excel. Use it to copy the cell right above the active cell. Note that this would copy the contents, formulas and formatting as well.
CONTROL D
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 3 - Fill Down

#4 Select Entire Row/Column

You use the following shortcuts to select an entire row or column that contains the active cell.
To select the entire row:
SHIFT SPACEBAR
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 4a
To select the entire column:
CONTROL SPACEBAR
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 4b
For example, if cell B2 is selected, then Shift + Spacebar would select the second row and Control + Spacebar would select the second column.

#5 Delete Cells/Row/Column

To delete selected cells, rows, or columns, use the keyboard shortcut:
CONTROL –
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 5
This opens the Delete dialog box, where you can select from the following options:
  • Shift cells left.
  • Shift cells up.
  • Delete Entire Row.
  • Delete Entire Column.

#6 Applying Border

To quickly apply borders to the selected cells, use the keyboard shortcut:
ALT + H + B + A
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 6
Note that this applies the "All Border" format, which means that all the cells get the border format. If you want to apply the Outline border only use ALT + H + B + S.

#7 Inserting a Comment

If your work involves inserting a lot of comments in cells in Excel, you'll find this shortcut mighty useful.
To quickly insert a comment in a cell, use the keyboard shortcut:
SHIFT F2
This would insert the comment and place the cursor within the comment.
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 7
When you have entered the comment, press the Escape key to come out of the comment mode. The cell that contains the comment would show a red triangle at the top right.
If you already have a comment in a cell, this would open the comment and place the cursor within the comment.

#8 Insert Current Date and Time

This keyboard shortcut can be used to quickly insert time stamps in cells.
To insert current date, use the keyboard shortcut:
CONTROL ;
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 8a
To insert current time, use the keyboard shortcut:
CONTROL SHIFT ;
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 8b

#9 Navigate Through Worksheets

If you have a lot of worksheets in the workbook, it can drive you crazy to navigate through it.
Here is the keyboard shortcut that solves this problem.
To go to the previous worksheet:
CONTROL PAGEUP
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 9b
To go to the next worksheet:
CONTROL PAGEDOWN
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 9
Note that if you continue to hold the keys, it will keep on moving on to the previous/next worksheet.

#10 Apply Filter

While you can easily apply/remove filter with the filter Filter option in the ribbon (in the data tab), it still takes time and a couple of clicks.
Here is a keyboard shortcut that would instantly apply data filter (or remove filters if it's already applied):
CONTROL SHIFT L
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 10

#11 Select Visible Cells Only

Let me first tell you why this is important.
Suppose you have a list in Excel and you hide a few rows. Now if you copy the entire list and paste it somewhere else, it will copy all the cells (including the ones that are hidden, as shown below):
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 11a
Note that a few rows in the original data set are hidden, but when you copy paste it, even the hidden rows get copied.
If you don't want this to happen, you first need to select only those cells that are visible. To do this, select the entire list and use the keyboard shortcut:
ALT ;
Now when you copy it and paste it anywhere, you can be sure only the visible cells are getting copied.
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 11b

#12 Freeze Top Row

If you work with a data set that is huge and spans across hundreds or thousands of rows and many columns, you'll face the issue of the header disappearing when you scroll down. This often wastes a lot of time as you have to scroll back to see what a data point means.
Freezing rows and columns is the way to go in such cases.
Here are the shortcuts for freezing rows/columns:
  • To freeze the top row:
    ALT + W + F + R
    Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 12aNote that the top row gets fixed.
  • To freeze the first column:
    ALT + W + F + C
    Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 12bNote that the left most column gets fixed.
If you want freeze both rows and column, select a cell above which you want to freeze rows (you can freeze more than one row), and to the left of which you want to freeze columns (could be one or more than one). For example, if you want to freeze top two rows and one column to the left, select cell B3.
Now use the shortcut:
ALT + W + F + F

#13 Opening Format Cells Dialogue Box

This one is my favorite. If you want to change the formatting of a cell or range of cells, select the cells and use the keyboard shortcut:
CONTROL 1
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 13
It's a gateway to all the formatting you can do this Excel. It opens a dialog box where you have different tabs for different types of formatting.

#14 Start New Line in the Same Cell

Sometimes, you may want to show the text/data in two or more than two rows in the same cell in Excel. For example, you may want to enter the address in a cell, but want the house numbers, street, city, state in different lines in the same cell.
To do this, place the cursor where you want to insert the line and use the keyboard shortcut:
ALT ENTER
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts 14

#15 Switch to Next Workbook

If you're working with multiple workbooks, you may need to switch between these workbooks. A popular shortcut to do this is ALT + TAB
But this would cycle through all the open applications. For example, if you have multiple application open at the same time, such as a browser, powerpoint, word, excel, skype, vlc, and so on, ALT + TAB would cycle through all these applications.
Instead, activate a workbook and then use the following shortcut to switch between open workbooks only.
CONTROL TAB

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#16 Insert Hyperlink

To insert a hyperlink in a cell, you need to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. The keyboard shortcut for this is:
CONTROL K
Excel Keyboard Shortcut 16

#17 Insert Bullet

If you want to insert bullets in Excel (in case you are creating a list), you can do that quickly by using a keyboard shortcut.
If you have a numeric keypad in your keyboard:
  • Select the cell in which you want to insert the bullet.
  • Either double click on the cell or press F2 – to get into edit mode.
  • Hold the ALT key, Press 7 or 9, leave the ALT key.
  • As soon as you leave the ALT key, a bullet would appear.
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 17
If you do not have a numeric Keyboard (like my laptop), activate the NumLock first and then repeat the above steps (or try with ALT + FUNCTION + 7/9)

#18 Converting Tabular Data into Excel Table

Excel Table is a must use feature if you work with tabular data.
To quickly convert tabular data into an Excel Table, select the data (or select any cell in the data set) and use the keyboard shortcut:
CONTROL T
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - 18
This will open the Create Table dialog box. While it automatically picks the range that needs to be converted, and it most cases it is correct, it's a good practice to cross check this.
Click on OK (or press Enter).

#19 Spell Check

While most of the people work with data in Excel, if your work involves a bit of text as well, it's a good practice to run spell check before marking the work as final and sending across to your boss or client.
Unlike MS Word or PowerPoint, Excel would not show red lines below the words that are misspelled. However, if you run spell check, it will catch those errors.
To run spell check, simply hit the F7 key.
F7

#20 Open the VB Editor Window

Working with VBA requires one to switch between the worksheet and the VB Editor.
To make a switch from Excel workbook to VB Editor, use the keyboard shortcut:
ALT F11
These are my top 20 Excel keyboard shortcuts. I am sure you have some of you own too.
Share it with me in the comments section.

2 comments

Really really thanks Mr. Junaid Tahir

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Great Junaid. Thanks,

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