We all know that learning a few keyboard shortcuts can speed-up your Excel game. Most pro users rely on a handful shortcuts when working with large spreadsheets. But when it comes to charting, we automatically reach for mouse. But do you know that you can use few simple shortcuts to do most day-to-day chart related things?
Ready for top 5 keyboard shortcuts for Excel charts? Read on.
Format any part of chart with CTRL+1
If there is a contest for most memorable and super helpful shortcuts, then CTRL+1 would win it. It is easy to remember and it is versatile. Select any part of a chart and press CTRL+1 to format it. In older versions of Excel, this would launch format dialog. In newer versions of Excel, you will see the format pane to the right.
Copy formatting from one chart to another with ALT+E S T
This is one of those sequence shortcuts. If you want to copy the formatting of one chart to another, simply select first chart and press CTRL+C. Now select the second chart and press ALT E S T (your press ALT E, leave both keys and press S followed by T in a sequence) and voila your formatting is replicated.
See this demo:
Add new data to a chart with CTRL+C, CTRL+V
Who could forget the trusty copy and paste shortcuts. But do you know that you can use them with charts too? Yes, if you want to add extra series to your chart, simply copy the data, highlight the chart and press CTRL+V to add it.
Repeat last action with F4
When you are working with lots of charts, often we repeat various formatting / customization steps on all of them. You can use F4 to speed up the process. Say you want to change axis color of all charts to dull gray. Do it one, now select the other axes and press F4.
Select various chart elements with TAB key (arrow keys in older version)
When you want to highlight various parts of the chart (title, series, axis, legend etc.) simply use TAB key (or arrow keys in older versions of Excel) to select one at a time. This way, you can avoid paying unnecessary mouse tax.
Bonus: Link chart title to a cell with = key
Nobody likes boring chart titles. So why not make them dynamic and awesome, just like you. Select the chart title, press = and link it to a cell. Of course, you need to have a formula (or typed up value) in the cell first. This way, when your formula changes, your chart’s title changes too.
Read more: Use descriptive titles for awesome charts
See this demo.
Top 5 Charting Shortcuts – Video
Here is a quick video demonstrating these shortcuts. Check it out below or on Chandoo.org YouTube Channel.
What is your favorite charting shortcut?
For me it is CTRL+1. I use it all the time. Next is ALT+EST. Anytime, I am working with more than one chart, chances are, I want to clone formatting.
What about you? What are your favorite charting keyboard shortcuts? Please share in the comments section.
More tips for working with charts and workbooks
Checkout below tips and hints to make better charts.
- 8 Tips to make you a formatting pro
- Tell a better story with smart data labels
- Use drawing shapes to enhance your charts
- Avoid simple numbers in your dashboards and reports
- Complete list of Excel keyboard Shortcuts
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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