11 very useful excel keyboard shortcuts you may not know

Posted on July 29th, 2008 in Learn Excel - 35 comments

  1. f4 key – During formula typing, adjusts the reference type, abs to relative, otherwise repeats last action
  2. ctrl key+; key – Inserts current date
  3. ctrl key+ – Copies value from cell above to current cell
  4. shift key+f2 key – Edits a cell comment
  5. alt key+f8 key – Opens macro dialog box
  6. alt key+= key – Auto sum selected cells and places value in cell beneath
  7. ctrl key+shift key+$ key – Currency formats current cell
  8. ctrl key+shift key+& key – Applies outline border to selected cells
  9. ctrl key+shift key+! key – Comma formats current cell
  10. shift key+ctrl key+f key – Activates font drop down list
  11. shift key+ctrl key+p key – Activates font point size drop down list

What is your favorite keyboard shortcut / productivity tip?

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35 Responses to “11 very useful excel keyboard shortcuts you may not know”

  1. Judy Fearn says:

    You asked about a favorite keyboard shortcut: I often right click the navigation arrows at the bottom of an Excel workbook to get a list of the worksheets. I can click the one I want without having to scroll left or right.

  2. Sam Krysiak says:

    I regularly use the networkdays(x,y,z) function to show the number of working days between two given dates. To exclude public holidays I reference a list of dates (“z” in the above reference) which I periodically update to reflect upcoming non-working days. To keep the sheet looking tidy for other users, I like to hide this column when I’m done, and then unhide it when I update the sheet.

    With 40 separate workbooks to edit, these shortcuts make it a breeze…

    ? Hide selected column: CTRL+0 [zero]
    ? Unhide hidden column(s) within selection: CTRL+SHIFT+) [closed parenthesis]

    If an “Autofit Selection” keyboard shortcut (not just a key sequence) existed, I’d be as happy as a clam!

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  5. 1xoid1 says:

    Hello Chandoo, thanks for sharing this information. With some of the shortcuts I seem to have difficulties as they do not seem to work on the German keyboard.

    Can you maybe verify that those combos are only working with the keyboard setup you are using? What would be a good source to lookup combinations for other layouts?

    Regards, 1xoid1

  6. Chandoo says:

    @1xoid1 … Thanks for visiting PHD and taking timeout to ask your question. Unfortunately all my German can be summarized to one phrase: “guten tag”.

    I wont be able to help you, but I can request other readers to respond. So if you know German or use German keyboard and can answer 1xoid1’s question, then you get a free donut.

    Guten Tag :)

  7. Martin Williamson says:

    To Sam Krysiak.
    Shortcut to Autofit Selection (assuming you mean autofit columns). If you right click toolbar, click customise. From Commands tab/Categories select Built-in Menus.

    In Categories window scroll down and select Columns and drag drop it onto toolbar. Then click the new toolbar Columns button and drag drop Autofit button onto your toolbar (note Autofit for Columns will no longer appear in your menus, only on toolbar).

    Remove Columns button from toolbar (if you want to keep clutter down) drag and drop it off of your toolbar.

    Close Customise box.

    Now to Autofit columns just press “Alt” then “A”.

  8. Martin Williamson says:

    Comment 8 correction – 2nd paragraph should read
    “In Commands window…

  9. Robert says:

    @1xoid1:

    Read the following text as follows: The key ,[;] is the one right to the M on the German keyboard. Here are the differences you have to know when using a German keyboard:

    2. Press strg .[:] for inserting the current date (and strg shift .[:] for inserting current time)

    3. Press strg ,[;] to copy values from cell above

    8. Press strg shift –[_] to apply an outline border

    10. Press strg-shift S to activate the font drop down (Schriftgroesse)

    11. Press strg-shift G to activate the font size (Groesse)

    Number 10 and 11 do not work with Excel 2007 anymore, but strg-shift-P shows the font tab of the cell format dialogue in Excel 2007.

    All other shortcuts should work on a German keyboard exactly as Chandoo described them.

    More information needed? Download a complete list with all shortcuts for Microsoft Excel in German (for free):

    http://www.freeware-download.com/downloaddetails/5655.html

    @Chandoo: please do not send a donut, unless you are able to attach one to an email. Otherwise the donut might be able to walk by itself, when it arrives here in Germany…

  10. Robert says:

    I forgot to mention:

    For all readers using an English keyboard: Chip Pearson offers a comprehensive list of Excel shortcuts on the English keyboard:

    http://www.cpearson.com/excel/ShortCuts.aspx

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  13. Prashant R.Moholkar says:

    I do some data entries column A,column B ,Column C , A and B have 10 to 12 digit codes , C has the names ; Kindly suggest me a format or formula for excel to avoid duplication of entries in all the the three columns.

    Regards,
    Prashant

  14. Chandoo says:

    @Prashant… You can use conditional formatting to highlight duplicate entries in the three columns. That way whenever you type a dupe value in a cell the formatting would highlight the values so that you can avoid the error.

    check this post for more on using this way to handling duplicates: http://chandoo.org/wp/2008/03/13/want-to-be-an-excel-conditional-formatting-rock-star-read-this/

    If you are looking for a way to remove duplicates from an existing range, you can try one of the various techniques we have described here. Try these tips:

    http://chandoo.org/wp/2008/11/06/unique-duplicate-missing-items-excel-help/
    http://chandoo.org/wp/2008/08/01/15-fun-things-with-excel/

  15. […] good alternative (although manual) is to use keyboard shortcuts CTRL + ; or CTRL + : to insert current date and time in the active cell. Since this places the […]

  16. GesyimmeliA says:

    Your site doesn’t correctly work in safari browser

    • Chandoo says:

      Hi GesyimmeliA: Can you tell me which version of Safari on which OS has this problem. I use Macbook at home and loaded the site quite often in Safari and never seen any layout or content issues. Are you facing any script issues while posting comments or somethings like that ?

  17. Daniel Shi says:

    Hey Chandoo. Great site. Learning lots.

    My favorite Excel shortcut has got to be Alt+Down when over an autofilter drop down. Learning that changed my life. That was one of the last things I needed to use a mouse for. Changed my life.

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  19. Barbara says:

    My favourit keyboard shortcut is control and 1 (use the 1 above the letters on the keyboard, not the number pad) for format cells.

  20. DJ says:

    Favourite shortcut: alt + shift + right/left arrow for grouping/ungrouping!

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  23. M Meraz says:

    Martin Williamson thanks for the autofit tip! You rock.

  24. Ayan says:

    In order to generate charts/bar graph with a single key:

    1. Select the data
    2. Press F11
    3. Magic…. :)

  25. DiverseIT says:

    F3 = Paste a Name or the entire list of Names
    Crtl + F3 = Name Manager
    Crtl + : = Inserts current time.
    F12 = Save As

  26. DiverseIT says:

    Mistake!
    Crtl + Shift + : = Inserts current time.

  27. JAY SHANKAR says:

    SIR U R THE BEST PERSON WHO SHARES A WONDERFULL AND IMPORTANT TIPS IN EXCEL. THANKS AND KEEP ROCKING.

  28. Amit says:

    How do i hide / unhide a work sheet using the keyboard.

  29. PARBATI says:

    input in one cell 1a23bc output in two cell one of 123 and other one is abc how to possible, please help me.

  30. Woj says:

    Hey cool shortcuts but excel have more shortcuts then you listet.

    i find a big database of supportet shortcuts for Excel 2007 here
    http://www.veodin.com/excel-2007-shortcuts/

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