10 Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Your Microsoft Excel Use Faster, Smarter, and Better

In early 2014, CMIT Solutions covered 10 tricks, tips, apps, and add-ins for Microsoft Excel. But the list of keyboard shortcuts and productivity boosters that can help supercharge this gold standard in spreadsheet software continues to increase. As it should: while firm market share figures specific to Excel are hard to come by, Microsoft Office, the productivity suite in which Excel comes packaged, still claims approximately 80% to 96% of worldwide user share.

We thought we’d share a few more standard keyboard shortcuts that can make your Microsoft Excel use smarter, faster, and better. These tips represent just one small portion of your day-to-day experience with the program. But for those who use Excel frequently, adopting a few of these shortcuts can save you lots of time—print them out and keep them handy if you live in Excel.

At the end of the day, that’s what CMIT Solutions specializes in: helping you maximize the productivity and efficiency of the software and hardware you use while minimizing technology-related disruptions.

1) Want to move to the beginning or end of a worksheet? Press Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End rather than scrolling for what feels like forever.

2) Need to find or replace a specific piece of data? Press Ctrl + F to display the Find and Replace dialog box with Find selected; press Ctrl + H to display it with Replace selected.

3) Want to select a broad swath of data? Press Shift + Space to select the entire row, Ctrl + Space to select the entire column, Ctrl + Shift + * (asterisk) to select the current region around the active cell, and Ctrl + A to select the entire worksheet.

4) Want to copy, paste, cut, or undo? Press Ctrl + C to copy the contents of selected cells, Ctrl + X to cut the contents of selected cells, Ctrl + V to paste the content into a selected cell, and Ctrl + Z to undo the last action.

5) Need to edit active or selected cells? Press Ctrl + D to fill the complete cell down, Ctrl + R to fill the complete cell to the right, Ctrl + “ (quote) to fill cell values down and edit, Ctrl + ‘ (apostrophe) to fill cell formulas down and edit, and Ctrl + – (minus) with the entire row or column selected to delete row or column.

6) Want to insert a table, row, column, comment, or chart? Press Ctrl + l to insert a table, Ctrl + Shift + + to insert a cell, row, or column, Ctrl + F2 to insert a comment, and Alt + F1 to insert a chart with data.

7) Need to set up or activate hyperlinks? Press Ctrl + K to insert a hyperlink and Enter in a cell with a link to activate it.

8) Want to hide or show elements? Press Ctrl + 9 to hide selected rows, Ctrl + Shift + 9 to unhide any hidden rows, Ctrl + 0 (zero) to hide selected columns, and Ctrl + Shift + 0 to unhide any hidden columns.

9) Need to format data? Press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog, Ctrl + B to apply or remove bold formatting, Ctrl + I to apply or remove italic formatting, and Ctrl + U to apply or remove underlining.

10) Need to format numbers? Press Ctrl + Shift + $ to apply the Currency format, Ctrl + Shift + ~ to apply the General number format, Ctrl + Shift % to apply the Percentage format, Ctrl + Shift + # to apply the Date format, Ctrl + Shift + @ to apply the Time format, Ctrl + Shift + ! to apply the Number format with two decimal places and thousands separator, and Ctrl + Shift + ^ to apply the Scientific Number format.

Whether you’re a seasoned Excel pro scanning the horizon for fresh usability tricks, or a new user scrambling to make sense of it all, these shortcuts should beef up your program experience. Considering an upgrade to your Microsoft Office suite, or looking for other ways to make your technological life more productive and efficient? Contact CMIT Solutions today—we’re here to make technology work for your business.

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