Right-click from the keyboard, not the mouse.

Posted on January 21st, 2014 in Learn Excel , Posts by Jeff - 65 comments

Well here’s something I never knew until today…I was watching one of Mike ExcelIsFun Girvin’s great YouTube videos from his great Slaying Excel Dragons series – the one on Excel 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts – when he showed how to do the equivalent of a mouse right click using a key on the keyboard that I’d never noticed before…the Menu key.

Chandoo_Right Click from the keyboard_Menu Key

The menu key is located to the right of the space-bar, tucked in between the Windows key and the right Ctrl key.

I wonder if even Dick Kusleika knows that one. (Legend has it that the only time that Dick’s fingers leave the keyboard is when he “salutes” Excel when it crashes.)

Hui pointed me to a recent post right here called Replace formulas with values using this shortcut that covers this very tip, but somehow I missed it.

Did you know about that key? Be honest now, in the comments below.

—Update—
Both Sam and Marton have reminded me that if you don’t have the menu key, you can instead use Shift+F10 to do the same thing. Thanks, chaps…without you, I’m half-baked!

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Written by Jeff Weir
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65 Responses to “Right-click from the keyboard, not the mouse.”

  1. sam says:

    @Jeff

    This key is removed is the newer versions of the Dells Latitude Laptop’s

    When I brought my Dell Inspirion, the one thing that I made sure was that the particular model had the key (as I am very used to it)

    If you are stuck with a keyboard that does not have this key you can say SHIFT+F10 and curse the manufacturer for making your keyboard shortcut 1 key longer

  2. Vitalie says:

    I used this key a lot on my previous keyboards, but my current Logitech Wave (it’s a few years old) lacks this key (Logitech has replaced it with their own function key “Fn” and moved the menu key to the most inconvenient location: “Fn+PrtScn”), so I never use it any more.

  3. Marton says:

    Hi, this is one of my favourite keys (I’m a keyboardoholic) and if its missing from your keyboard you can get the same result with pressing Shift+F10!

  4. Putques says:

    I Didn’t ever use this key before and during search i got your blog which solves the problems of my Rt. click not working Mouse. Thanks a Lot.

  5. dan l says:

    Vitalie,

    Well then: logitech setpoint and autohotkey should be your best friend.

    • Andrew S says:

      Yep, I have one of these Dell Latitudes, so I used a .exe created from AHK to remap the right CTRL key to the MENU key. (I got really used to having it from my old ThinkPad.) It’s not ideal, because I used to use R-CTRL for some shortcuts (printing), and now some CTRL shortcuts are two-handed, but I still like having the MENU key more.

  6. Jon Peltier says:

    I use the menu key ALL THE TIME. I can’t imagine any manufacturer removing this key (well, I can imagine Dell doing something dumb like this, but anyway).

  7. I am using this kind of key board since last 15 years, but honestly, I didn’t know about this key. Thnx..

  8. Chandoo says:

    I use Logitech K240 as my main keyboard. This is a wireless keyboard. And to save space, they have mixed the CTRL and Menu keys in to one. So now, I press FN + CTRL to activate this. I find it a bit annoying (given the fact that my right mouse button is just a few inches away).

    Logitech K420 Keyboard almost has the MENU key.

  9. Uday Kumar Chintada says:

    I know the menu key located on the key board, however Shift+F10 is new to me. Thanks for the tip… :)

  10. Jason says:

    This button is only on my work keyboard, right by the Ctrl & Windows button; both of which I use very often (especially Ctrl)…. I always find myself accidentally hitting this menu button instead. The aggravating part is when I’m doing something that I can complete with shortcuts and imp focusing on the keyboard but don’t realize that I hit this button…. I go through the rest of the process and it’s only when I look up at my screen that I realize that this little menu is up there staring at me (most likely laughing)

  11. Wonder no more: of course I use that key! Not so much in Excel since the Ribbon gave me relatively easy keyboard access to any command. But I use it in other programs frequently.

  12. vijay says:

    hi. i use this key in keyboard often in excel while doing copy n paste special for selecting menu

  13. Jim Smith says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, the Menu key or Shift+F10 gives you the Menu but a right click gives you the Menu plus a mini toolbar.

  14. Ana says:

    Esta dica eu conheço desde os 13 quando tive o primeiro contato com um PC.
    Apredi por acaso também, testando o teclado.

  15. john abinsay says:

    Not at all. I always ignored this key for some reason. Thanks!

  16. Gaylen says:

    I always used to use this until I got a wireless keyboard for work. So, I haven’t used it for about a year. It is one of the most helpful keys. But, now I can use it again without having to use the mouse. Thanks for the Shift+F10 hint. This is great.

    • Gaylen says:

      No dice on the Lenovo wireless Keyboard. Does anyone else have this and has found the workaround. The Shift+F10 did not work.

      • Gaylen says:

        Figured it out. On the Lenovo wireless keyboards it is the (Windows + shift + F10). A lot of keys, but may be worth it not having to use the mouse.

  17. If you don’t want to do the SHIFT+F10 method, you could add this macro to your personal collection.

    Sub CellContextMenu()
    Application.CommandBars(“Cell”).ShowPopup
    End Sub

    Then just assign it to some keyboard combination. Since the menu button is in the lower-left, maybe something like CTRL+SHIFT+Z.

    • This assumes that you no longer have that key on your keyboard, like me.

      • Jeff Weir says:

        Good idea, Jordan. I wonder if the macro can be generalised to handle any context, and not just the cell context?

        • I was wondering that , too, but it’s not really my forte. I think (but am very open to being wrong) there’s no way to do a generalized version. You would probably had to test for each context (also a challenge) and return the correct menu.

          What I’m thinking is… if you really wanted to have this functionality everywhere, rather than have code to pull back the specific menus for each context, you could instead make your own context menu with your favorite items and have that present itself via this macro and keyboard combination.

    • Jeff Weir says:

      Well that really underscores the importance of experts revisiting the basics from time to time!

      • Not sure I qualify as an expert in XL. Development? Maybe. XL? Not really. In any case, technology of any kind changes so fast that continuous learning is required. Adapt or die.

        The AWESOME thing about the ‘net is its ability to connect us to people all across this planet and learn.

  18. Tina says:

    Didn’t have a clue what the key was for (didn’t even notice it until I seen the email about it today), I’m excited to try it now :).

  19. David Greenfield says:

    Shift-F10 works on every app, not just Excel. I have an old dell latitude running XP and Shift-F10 is handy when in a browser and I want to select text and then copy or search — it gives me the context-sensitive menu just like right-click but without my hands leaving the keyboard.

  20. hi chandoo;
    yes this short cut is awesome!
    thank you to mention it!
    i’ve made a video about it and i call it : the most important KeyBord shortcut of your PC!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK5NLstyKFA
    you can find it if you make this research videos about this : https://www.google.com/search?q=the+most+important+KeyBord+shortcut+of+your+PC
    thank you .

  21. stansult says:

    Sure, I know and use that a lot.
    It’s very convenient when you don’t want to take hands from keyboard to right-click.

  22. Jasmine says:

    Oh I love that key. Most of my moms family is right handed (I’m lefty) and right clicking on their desktops is not so natural. Keyboard short-cuts are my best friend especially that one. to pick all the crazy “Paste” options in Excel

  23. Andrew says:

    I use it all the time in other programs. Here’s my spell-checking workflow for emails / documents:
    1. Type a sentence as fast as possible
    2. Look for the red squiggly lines
    3. Navigate to the bad word
    Move the cursor with CTRL-left or -right arrow (jumps one word at a time)
    4. MENU to bring up a list of suggestions, ENTER to choose
    (sometimes you have to use the down arrow)

    This whole time your eyes haven’t left the content on-screen, and your fingers haven’t left the keyboard.

    (even works when typing in this comment box (IE10))

  24. Mark says:

    Thanks – now I would like to find out the key identifier so I can block users from using it on my Excel VBA application!

    Application.Onkey :{MENU}” faults out – anyone know?

  25. Jon Acampora says:

    You can use Alt+Menu Key to access the error menu that pops up next to a cell that contains an error (green triangle in top left corner). Then use the underlined letter in the menu to perform one of the menu options like Convert to Number or Ignore Errors.

    Alt+Menu Key+C is the keyboard shortcut to convert text to numbers when a cell or range that contains errors is selected.

    Alt+Menu Key+I ignores errors.

    This also works for the paste options box if you are using Excel 2007.

    I actually just wrote a blog post and video on this a few days ago.

    http://www.excelcampus.com/keyboard-shortcuts/excel-keyboard-shortcuts-convert-text-to-numbers-ignore-errors/

  26. Mark says:

    Found an answer to the menu key kill is not quite what i expected, but it does do the job, and it’s less likely to get the IT staff upset than Jeff’s suggestion! :)

    Application.CommandBars(“Cell”).Enabled = False

    This will kill the pop up conext menu from the MENU key and the mouse right click button.

  27. Rahul says:

    Lenovo has this key but very few dell laptops might be having it! Very handy and powerful key !!

  28. Raj Kamal says:

    Shift+F10

  29. MF says:

    Yes. I knew it, and it had been reinforced by the recent post about copy and paste value.

    as a side topic…
    One day, I press CTRL+ALT+Down Arrow together, everything on my screen turn upside down; then I discover the existence of CTRL+ALT+Arrow Key

  30. MF says:

    Yes. I knew it, and it had been reinforced by the recent post about copy and paste value.

    as a side topic…
    One day, I press CTRL+ALT+Down Arrow together, everything on my screen turned upside down; then I discover the existence of CTRL+ALT+Arrow Key

  31. Tamoghna says:

    I use right click button to delete rows or columns by pressing

    right click button + D in succession.

    Cheers!

  32. Yeah, it is one of my favourite keys. And I have been missing it a lot, since I moved to using windows on a Bootcamp Macbook.

    Sam, thanks for the Shift+F10 tip. It might save me numerous number of times – my heart misses a beat everytime I got to use the trackpad for right click :)

    So much for being an keboardoholic!!!

  33. Luke M says:

    Knew about it, but don’t like using it. Most of the time there’s a more direct keyboard shortcut (e.g. Cut, Copy, Paste Special, Format Cell, Insert, Delete).

  34. Jimmy says:

    Fantastic tip!!! Plus, it works here in my browser too!

    I’m a big fan of playing the keys for everything. I’ve been on Office 2010 for two years and I’m still using Office 2003 keyboard shortcuts for a lot of frequent tasks. I’m sure I’ll work the menu key into my repertoire soon enough.

    Thanks for the tip!

  35. Terry says:

    I did know about it, but only for the last year or so. After about 100 years of using all the other keys I one day wondered what this thing at the end of my fingers was that I never touched. So I touched it. Oooh, cool. I discovered the Windows key at the same time. Also handy.

  36. Jon Acampora says:

    btw great topic of discussion Jeff! It’s interesting to see how many variations of the keyboard there are. The Lenovo T420 laptop has the Menu Key, but the T430 does not. It was replaced with a print screen key.

  37. Adnan Ahmed says:

    I never knew about using mouse right button through key board

  38. kasusx says:

    i usually use that key
    it’s very useful key

  39. Abdulkarim Rdman says:

    i do not know before

    but i do not know also more buttons and keys function at least i can name the key now if my children asked me now.
    Thanks alot

  40. Jon says:

    Yeah. As said before Shift F10 is good.
    The harder to simulate is the “click” or “double-click” behavior.

    Keys Windows +D/M to access the desktop.
    Keys Ctrl Escape + Esc (again) : to access the task bar

    Once the task bar is reached, key “tabulation” to navigate to the systray ;-)

  41. Sahith says:

    Very useful post for those who are wondering where is right click on the keyboard….Thanks again: )

  42. Thanks…..now,my problem is solved…

  43. Fabio says:

    Shift + F10 = great! I have a Dell notebook does not have right click key!

  44. […] There’s a good discussion over at Chandoo’s blog about the menu key, and what to do if some tight-wad manufacturer hasn’t put it on their […]

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