10 Useful & Time-Saving Excel Shortcuts That Will Make Your Life Easier
Posted on Nov 05, 2015
Most (if not all) of our users use Microsoft Excel on a daily basis and there are some challenging situations that could be avoided with some tricks and shortcuts Excel has.
Yet, at times, we don’t use them; sometimes because we didn’t know they existed or for the simplest reason that we read about them somewhere but forgot to write them down.
In reality, there are over two hundred Excel shortcuts for both PC and MAC. There is a website you can access in here (if you feel brave enough) that has them all. But that’s a large number of shortcuts to digest on just one go, so here’s the top 10 most useful ones, followed by a checklist (at the bottom of the page) you can keep.
Expand or collapse ribbon
Excel’s ribbon is quite a necessary piece to control your worksheet, but at times you don’t really need it to be visible and it is sitting there, taking up 4 rows of space that you could be using to see your work’s data. So this is a useful one to keep.
Shortcut: Ctrl + F1 (Mac: Command + Option + R)
Jumping From One Worksheet To Another
Let’s say you have a big Excel document, with several worksheets; for example 12 for each month, and you want to move between months.
- If you want to move forward (say, from June to July): Ctrl+Page Down (Mac: Fn + Control + Down arrow)
- If you want to move onward (say from November to October): Ctrl+Page Up (Mac: Fn + Control + Up arrow)
Pop open the right-click menu using Shift+F10
This is a handy shortcut for presentations or when you’re short on time or when. You will be able to access right-click menus with ease without the need to use a mouse.
Shortcut: Pressing Shift+F10 opens the right-click menu. You can then use the up/ down arrow keys to move to various menu choices and the right arrow key to open a fly-out menu. Choose the item you want and press Enter to select it.
Jump to the Bottom of Data
You can jump directly from anywhere in your data to the bottom with this shortcut, you just need to make sure there are no blank spaces included.
Shortcut: Ctrl + End (Mac: Fn + Ctrl + Right arrow)
If you use Excel for pretty much everything in your life, task lists included, then this is the shortcut for you. You’ll be able to add a strikethrough to data inside cells. This will give you the inspiration need to get things done.
Shortcut: Ctrl + 5 (Mac: Command + Shift + X)
Date and Time-Stamp
Let’s say you are working in a shared Excel document or that you enter current date or time of when you enter certain data into your worksheets. This shortcut will help you with that. What it actually does is telling you the current date or time the moment you’re working. Please note this is not the same as using =NOW() or =TODAY().
- Insert current time: Ctrl + Shift + colon (Mac: Up + Shift + Colon)
- Insert current date: Ctrl + semicolon (Mac: Up + semicolon)
Repeat the last task
If you need to do a repeated task several times (let’s say 30) but the task takes you too many mouse clicks to keep doing it repeatedly, just use this shortcut. You will need to do the process at least once and highlight the next row, column or cell you want to apply that to. It’ll save you a lot of time.
Shortcut: F4 (Mac: Up + Y)
Select a Row/ Column
This is easily achieved and selected with keyboard shortcut.
- Select a row: Shift + Space (Mac: Shift + Space)
- Select a column: Ctrl + Space (Mac: Up + Space)
Copy and Paste from Down/ Right
This is a handy shortcut that will allow you to copy data from the cell above or the cell to the left, without the usual copy and paste format. You can use these shortcuts to copy data to multiple cells, you just need to select the source cells and target cells before you use the shortcut.
- Copy and Paste Down: Ctrl + D (Mac: Up + D)
- Copy and Paste Right: Ctrl + R (Mac: Up + R)
Formatting, Formatting, Formatting!
Yes, there is a shortcut that instantly gives you access to a set of formatting options without the need of browsing for the format option you need on the ribbon (specially if you have the ribbon hidden).
You can access this Format Cells dialog when using regular cells; when working with charts this shortcut will open specific formatting chart dialogs; and you can even use it with smart art and shapes.
Shortcut: Control + 1 (Mac: Command + 1)
Excel Shortcut Checklist To Keep
You can also download the checklist as a PDF in here.
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