You can save a lot of time if you learn a few keyboard shortcuts in Excel. Don’t try to learn all in one day, then you’ll forget them just as fast. I think the best way to learn them all would be to bookmark this page and come back here a couple of times a week.
Many shortcuts in Excel are the same as in other Microsoft programs:
- Copy: Ctrl+C
- Cut: Ctrl+X
- Paste: Ctrl+V
- Bold: Ctrl+B
- Italic: Ctrl+I
- Underline: Ctrl+U
- Find: Ctrl+F
- Replace: Ctrl+H
- Go to: Ctrl+G
- Insert hyperlink: Ctrl+K
- Close window: Ctrl+W
- Undo: Ctrl+Z
- Redo: Ctrl+Y
- Close application: Alt+F4
Excel specific shortcuts
When you work with Microsoft Excel, you can save even more time if you learn these:
IMPORTANT: It is impossible to learn these shortcuts unless you actually try them out and practice!
- Switch to edit mode in a cell: F2
- Lock a cell reference (A1 => $A$1): F4
- Navigate in the worksheet: Ctrl + Arrow key moves to the edge of the current data region in the worksheet.
- Expand selection: Shift + Arrow key
- Combine the two: Ctrl + Shift + Arrow key to expand selection fast!
- Switch between tabs: Ctrl+PageUp/PageDown
- Switch between Excel files: Ctrl + Tab
Click here for more Excel shortcuts: Category: Shortcuts
If you press the Alt key, small letters will appear next to each headline on the ribbon, e.g. the letter H for the Home ribbon.
Try to press Alt, release it and press N, and the Insert menu will be displayed. Type C for Column chart and finally Enter. In short, to create a column chart: Alt > N > C
When you have done this a few dozen times you don’t have to think about it anymore – your fingers will do the job for you!
Other useful combinations with Alt:
- Paste special: Alt > E > S
- Paste values only: Alt > E > S > V
- Data validation: Alt > D > L
- Merge cells: Select the cells you want to merge with Shift + Arrow key and type Alt > H > M > M
- Change font: Alt > H > F > F
- Change font size: Alt > H > F > S
- Change font colour: Alt > H > F > C
- Center text: Alt > H > AC
There are many more, and it’s easy to figure them out by yourself. Just press the Alt key and look at the letters next to each menu. Type the letter to get to the next level.
Are you using a non-English version of Excel? Click here for translations of the 140 most common functions in 17 different languages: