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Excel Keyboard Shortcuts – Open Thread



Excel Keyboard Shortcuts - Open Thread

Okay, this is a cop-out, but I have been busy and not-in-a-mood-for-writing in the last 2 days. (I don’t know, but I feel a bit low, may be it is all the snow around and constant work due to excel school and day job).

So, let us have an open thread on Excel Shortcuts. I will start by listing down all the excel keyboard shortcuts I use regularly,

  • CTRL+1: open format dialog. I use this to set borders, fills, cell-formats, alignment etc.
  • F4: while editing formulas, to change the type of cell reference from relative to absolute or semi-absolute.
  • F4: to repeat last action, like adding rows or adjusting formats.
  • ALT+ESV : Paste Special > Values only. I use this to paste values alone. Helps me remove formulas, formatting etc.
  • CTRL+Arrow Keys: To navigate to last cell in a row, column, first cell in a row, column. These let me go where I want.
  • F2: Edit a cell, places cursor at the end. Very easy to edit.
  • ALT+Down arrow: Shows a small in-cell drop down with previously entered values, Useful when I am typing some data.
  • CTRL+D: fills down.
  • F9: When debugging formulas, I can select a portion of the formula and press F9 to see the result of that. VERY VERY Useful..
  • SHIFT+F2: Add a comment or Edit comment. Useful to add cell-comments so that my colleagues can take note of certain cells.
  • CTRL+B: Bold a cell’s content. Useful to add emphasis.
  • ALT+EST: Works like format painter

Now your turn…

Please use comments and share the shortcuts you use on regular basis. Let us make this the biggest thread (and page) on excel short cuts…

Previously on keyboard shortcuts & mouse shortcuts.


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94 Responses to “Excel Keyboard Shortcuts – Open Thread”

  1. Vipul says:

    I think you meant Ctrl+D instead of Alt+D for fill down.
    I use Ctrl+SpaceBar and Shift+SpaceBar for selecting whole column/row and many more!

  2. Chandoo says:

    @Vipul.. yes, I meant CTRL+D (will correct the post later in the day)

  3. Dau says:

    Alt+DPF : Create a Pivot table in new sheet (ofcourse after selecting the range)...seems to be pretty quick to me.
    Alt +DPN : Create a Pivot table in the same sheet.

  4. Stružák says:

    here are the shortcuts you haven't mentioned that I use the most:

    Shift + F11: insert new sheet
    Alt + F11: show Visual Basic Editor
    Ctrl + Page Up/Down: previous/next sheet

  5. Paul says:

    These are my most used shortcuts for manipulating large data tables.

    Shift + Space bar - Select Row
    Ctrl + Space bar - Select Column
    shift + ctrl + space bar - select table

    ctrl + num pad '+' - insert row
    ctrl + num pad "-" - delete row

    F12 - Save as
    Ctrl + s - save (use these all the time.)

    Ctrl + 1 - Format Cell or selection
    Alt + '=' - Sum range
    Ctrl + shift + 1 - Format as number with 2 dp
    Ctrl + shift + 4 - Format as local currency
    Ctrl + shift + 5 - Format as percentage with 0 dp

    f5 - go to box, then special for selecting blank cells etc. Or, go to a cell reference in a large sheet.

    Another tip I'd give for shortcuts is for Excel 2007, is to add shortcuts to the quick access bar. When functions are added to the quick access bar then you can use alt + 1, alt +2 etc to quickly use the shortcutted functions. I have auto filter up there, paste values, pivot table and advanced options (I sometimes use precision as displayed).

  6. eliavs says:

    is there a short cut for copying visible cells only?

  7. Pavel S says:

    I have a localised version of Excel07 , so shortcuts based on menu names work differently. So I cannot reproduce "ALT+ESV". How do you find the proper key sequence?

  8. Fabrice says:

    Ctrl+F1 in XL2007 & XL2010 is crucial to expand the work area eaten by the Thick Ribbon

  9. Vipul says:

    Keyboard shortcut is Alt+; for copying visible cells only

  10. noone says:

    Ctrl+A to mark region
    Ctrl+A again to mark all

  11. Clarity says:

    Ctrl + C Copy
    Ctrl + V Paste
    Ctrl + X Cut

    Ctrl + Z Undo

    Ctrl + Home - Go to top left (nb will go to top left of freezed pane if set)
    Shift + Home - Select range from start cell to far left
    Shift + End + arrow - Select range from start cell to end in direction of arrow

  12. eliavs says:

    thank you vipul

  13. JP says:

    I use:

    Shift+F11: Insert new worksheet
    Alt+F11: Open Visual Basic IDE

  14. pascal says:

    Use CTRL+'*' to mark a continuous array of data (e.g. all data for pivot) - no matter where your cursour stands in the array

  15. Jair says:

    I use Alt + Intro, to give a line break when I'm editing a cell.

  16. Jair says:

    Ps: The keyboard shorcuts can change if you use the application in english or spanish, in my case; for example: Ctrl + A is use to open a file, Ctrl + E to select a region, Ctrl + O to open a workbook, Ctrl + 1 never found and I don't know how is the spañish combination.

  17. Yoav says:

    I use...

    F2 - Edit
    Ctrl + Shift + Enter - Enter array formula
    Ctrl + / - select array formula range

  18. Nimesh says:

    Ctrl + Space - Select the column
    Shift + Space - Select the row
    Ctrl + (-) - Delete the Selection
    Ctrl + home - Select the first non-blank cell
    Ctrl + end - Select the last non-blank cell
    Ctrl + PgUp - Select the previous sheet
    Ctrl + PgDn - Select the next sheet
    F2 - Change Enter/Edit Cell mode
    Alt + Enter - Enter a new line in cell
    Alt + F8 - Macro Dialog
    Alt + D,F,F - Apply/Remove Filter
    Shift + F2 - Enter/Edit Cell Comment
    Ctrl + 1 - Format Dialog
    Ctrl + ; - Enter Current Date
    Ctrl + : - Enter Current Time
    Alt + E,A,A - Clear All Contents

  19. bill says:

    I use
    Ctrl + insert - Copy
    Shift + Insert - Paste

  20. Patricia says:

    Hope I'm not repeating but I didn't see it on the list.
    I use F3 to display range names - useful when using them in formulas

  21. Mike says:

    ALT+; to select visible cells. Very useful when filtering large ranges...

  22. iesmatauw says:

    thx vipul for the "Alt + ;"

    here the other usual ones i use:

    ctrl F2 for print preview
    ctrl p for print (cause we're still living in papers world)
    ctrl 9 or ctrl 0 for hiding selected row or column (ctrl shift 9 or 0 for unhide them)
    F5 + alt s + k = select blank
    F11 to make chart/pivot chart

  23. chrisham says:

    I am a extreme keyboard person, so besides the regular shortcuts posted here, I use ALT + TUF to evalute formulas. Its easy to remember when you working with some "TUF" formulas!

  24. Harvey says:

    Quick tip for mac users: Ctrl-U is the F2, edit cell, equivalent.

  25. Pranav says:

    I called up this Shortcut only by chance....i was trying to type ")" when by mistake pressed ctrl instead of shift.....
    .....Shortcut is
    Ctrl + 0
    It hides the column containing the cell selected.

  26. Pranav says:

    Shortcut to hide a row containing the cell selected is
    Ctrl + 9

  27. Rohit Choudhary says:

    Ctrl + Down arrow: To select from a drop box

  28. rohit1409 says:

    CTRL Z - Undo
    CTRL Y - Redo

  29. Rickard says:

    One that is more usefull than just in Excel:
    This maximize the window, quick and neat.

  30. Sachin says:

    copy the value from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
    Ctrl + Shift+ " (Quotation Mark)

    copy a formula from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
    Ctrl + ' (Apostrophe)

    display the formula palette after you type a valid function name in a formula
    Ctrl + A

    display the Style command Format menu
    Alt + ' (Apostrophe)

    alternate between displaying cell values and displaying cell formulas
    Ctrl +`(Single Left Quotation Mark)

    select all cells with comments
    Ctrl + Shift + O (letter O)

    select all cells that are directly or indirectly referred to by formulas in the selection
    Ctrl + Shift + {

    select all cells with formulas that refer directly or indirectly to the active cell
    Ctrl + Shift + }

  31. Gerald Higgins says:

    Surely the most useful shortcut of all is
    I use it countless times each day.

  32. Patricia says:

    Someone on a Linked In Excel group mentioned Ctrl + R . It copies whatever is in the cell to the left of it. I'm really starting to use this one quite a bit.

  33. ericlind says:

    I rather like CTRL+SHIT+HOME followed by CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow.

    The first moves to Cell A1

    The second selects all contiguous cells in the direction your arrow points.

    To select all contiguous cells in a range:

    CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT then CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN (This can be done in either order.)

    This is a great way to name ranges if you like doing that.

  34. ericlind says:

    Incidentally, you can also hold the SHIFT key and press an arrow to extend or reduce the size of the range.

    This is very handy if you only want to include 8 out of 10 contiguous columns of data for example.

  35. Vipul says:

    Ctrl+Tab to toggle between workbooks in a given session of Excel. I use it a lot.

  36. zzz says:

    CTRL+5 - sets/removes strikeout in current cell strikeout!

  37. Felipe says:

    I use
    crtl + F4 to close an Excel workbook (not the application)
    crtl + Shift + 6 for Borders
    Crtl + Shift + - for No Border
    Crtl + Home to go to A1
    F9 to calculate
    Crtl + 8 to show/hide the top bar when you have a Group

  38. Sridhar says:

    Strike Through Text - CTRL + 5

  39. Sridhar says:

    doh ... obviously I wasn't paying attention. 🙂

    Keep filter on columns - but show all rows - ALT + DFS

  40. halva says:

    CTRL-R to fill right

  41. Catherine says:

    Hey, any tips on how to remember shortcuts? Do people paste list to their PC?

  42. lavkesh bhatia says:

    Ctrl+shift+7 for single border around selected cells

    Ctrl+G to access 'go to' and also access paste special menu

  43. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    While this will work with a selection composed of multiple cells (either contiguous or non-contiguous), I think it is most useful when a single cell is selected...

    Ctrl + [ Select all precedent cells

    Ctrl + ] Select all dependent cells

    For those unfamiliar with these terms...

    The precedent cells are those mentioned in the formula contained in the selected cell. For example, if the selected cell contained this formula...


    then B19, B20, B21, C25, E20, E21, E22, F20, F21 and F22 would all be precedent cells and Ctrl+[ would select all of them.

    The dependent cells are those which contain a reference to (that is, are dependent on) the selected cell or cells. So, if these cells contained the indicated formulas...

    H3: =A1&B2
    K5: =E4&A1&K8

    then, with A1 selected, Ctrl+] would select both H3 and K5.

  44. Nimesh says:

    @Rick: Nice Addition.

  45. Vishal Haria says:

    Alt + DS: Sort
    Alt + DFF: Apply Filter
    Alt + DFS: Remove any filter selections
    Alt + ED: delete box (cell, row, column)
    Alt + IE: insert box (cell, row, column)
    Ctrl + K: insert hyperlink
    Alt + NVT: insert pivot table
    Alt + WFF: freeze panes
    Alt + WVG (2007): remove grid lines

  46. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    @Vishal... You can also toggle the grid lines on and off via the keyboard in XL2003 (and earlier I presume)...


  47. AK says:

    I use

    Ctrl + Shift + L to turn filter on or off

  48. AK says:

    Does anyone know the shortcut for wrapping text in a cell?

  49. Chandoo says:

    @All.. Superb stuff... keep them coming. I am going to compile all these (and more) shortcuts in a bumper post later this month...

  50. Chandoo says:

    @AK.. try ALT+HW in Excel 2007 to wrap lines. In earlier versions you have to use key sequence CTRL+1 followed by CTRL+TAB then ALT+W and ENTER

    • heather says:

      I used Alt +HW and my entire workbook literally disappeared.! Maybe 8-10 worksheets long full of data. Cannot find it or figure out how to retrieve it.

      • Pradeep Singh rawat says:

        By mistake, you typed in excel alt w h instead of alt h w
        alt w h works as hiding entire workbook

        so go to the view tab and click on unhide button over there

  51. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    @Chandoo and AK: In Chandoo's recommendation for wrapping lines in versions earlier than Excel 2007, after his Ctrl+1 keystroke, he advises to use Ctrl+Tab to move among the dialogbox's tabs... you can also use the right and left arrow keys to do the same thing (I find this easier to do than the two-handed keystroke Chandoo posted).

  52. AK says:

    @ Chandoo and Rick

    Thanks for your comments. I am using Excel 2007 and hence found the Alt + HW option very useful.

  53. Daniel Ferry says:

    If you work with a lot of dates and times (especially if you are the one entering them!) I love the fact that you can save a couple keystrokes on the time values if they are on the hour.

    For example, if you needed to enter ten o'clock you could type:


    That's 5 keystrokes.

    Alternatively, you could type:


    And after hitting ENTER, Excel automatically changes it to:


    That's 3 keystrokes, a 40% reduction.

    Not bad if you have hundreds of time values to deal with.

    Daniel Ferry

  54. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    @Daniel Ferry

    You can also save a keystroke if the minutes part of your time is less than 10. To enter 10:07, you can just type 10:7 and Excel will convert it to 10:07 for you. Also, to make it clear for people reading your original tip, as well as this one, these times entries are for a 24-hour clock, so 10pm would be entered 22: and 10:07pm would be entered 22:7 in order to get times after 12 noon.

  55. Vipul says:

    I use Ctrl+W a lot frequently to close workbooks 🙂

  56. Mehdi Raza says:

    I use (Alt+W+S) for split screens

  57. [...] weeks back I have invited all of you to share your excel keyboard shortcuts in a open thread. More than 50 people commented on that post and shared a hundred excel keyboard shortcuts with us. [...]

  58. Jignesh says:

    Good stuff dear all,

    Need to know what is the short cut for renaming sheet name?

  59. Vipul says:

    @Jignesh it is Alt+OHR

  60. robin says:

    Ctrl+Shift+3(Num Pad) --- Next Sheet of Excel File,

    Ctrl+Shift+9(Num Pad) --- Previous Sheet of Excel File.

  61. robin says:

    Ctrl+H -- Replace value

  62. Nimesh says:

    @robin: there a much simpler shortcut for changing sheets
    Ctrl + PageUp, Ctrl + PageDown

  63. Thank you so much for your fentastic work. Really it is very useful tome. Congrats.

  64. Jignesh says:

    Thanks Vipul & Chandoo for this stuff.

    Is there any short cut is available to change the status bar value as sum,count etc..

  65. Vipul says:


    I doubt is there is any; not sure. However if you switch to Excel 2007 you will see all the stats in the status bar and will not have a need for changing or toggling between various stats.

  66. Greetings,
    Here is an old short cut that I used to use very often when troubleshooting workbooks in EXCEL.

    Hold CTRL and ~ (tilde) and the worksheet will show all formulas in the current workbook. This is an excellent tool for a quick eyeball at a worksheet when looking for an obvious error or just reviewing the formulas formatting.

  67. hellomoto says:

    What keyboard keys are EST and ESV ?

  68. hellomoto says:

    Oh wow... I've always used the mouse to click on the menu then keyboard through it. never knew it was possible to hold down the alt and press keys in sequence. Thanks Chandoo.

  69. TY CON says:

    i don't want to use ctl-home, to go a1 cell

    do you know any other macro (one stroke that is) to do the above, as i have multiple tabs in my file...


  70. Hui... says:

    @Ty Con
    You won't find anything easier or more intuitive than Ctrl Home to do what you want
    Do you want a macro that takes you to A1 ever time you change to a new page?

  71. Nilesh says:

    Hi Guys,

    Are there any quick key sequences in the filter dialog section for 2010???

    I am very used to the 2003 menu and for me using custom menus was a breeze.... Although the 2007/2010 ribbon is very intuitive, I havent yet found a quick key sequence to type in the search box inside the filter drop down of 2010....

    Appreciate any feedback.

  72. Vinayak says:

    I use "ALT + DE " to use Text to column function.

    Really an easy was to separate data using spaces,commas,or other special characters

  73. Janet says:

    I am use to older versions of Excel and recently purchased 2010 Home and Student version. I am use to using function keys and am totally baffled. When I try to make a cell reference absolute by selected F4 a pop up screen comes up with 4 options
    Computer Only
    Projector only

    Usually I am pretty computer literate but I am baffled. Any hints?

  74. Hui... says:

    I can assure you that F4 still works as it always has

    Often on laptops they have  Fn key which with F4 toggles the screen output to different devices
    It sounds like  you have a stuck Fn key

  75. SuSapta says:

    @Janet you will need to change it from the BIOS settings.. This links should be of help

  76. jayakumar.k says:

    pl excel calculation format. for ex:= vlookup,=sum() 

  77. Petr says:

    Hello, how I can "press right mouse button" on a keyboard? For example, after Ctrl + C, I would like to paste it as formulas. By arrow, I find where, I move to mouse to click, press Z. As well, it exist on regular keyboard the button between right ctrl and alt, but on laptops? Thanks a lot.

    • Rajat says:

      There is usually a 'Menu' key between the right set of alt & ctrl keys which has a symbol looking like a menu with a pointer over it.. This performs the 'press right mouse button' in Windows... I'm not sure if this is standard across keyboards...

      • Petr says:

        Exactly. Most of the notebook do not have this button. On standart key-board, it is - with 80 % probability. So I am searching for other possibility how to "press" it.

  78. Indranil says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    i joined today and while scrolling through the hundreds of useful shortcuts, i guess i did not see the Ctrl+R, which is the shortcut for copy to the right, just like Ctrl+D is for Copy to down.

  79. Don says:

    Dayrect filtar kaise lagay

    [Google translate] How Direct Filters Work?

  80. David says:

    Use Shift + F10

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