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Weekend open mic – Share your one hand Excel shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts - 53 comments

onehand-shortcuts-pollAt Chandoo.org, we are big believers of keyboard shortcuts. There are several posts (1,2,3,4more and even more) discussing useful Excel shortcuts. Today I want to introduce a new kind of keyboard shortcuts. One hand shortcuts.

One hand shortcuts – Half the work, double the fun

The idea is simple. When you can use only one hand to complete the shortcut key presses, it is called as a one hand shortcut.

Why bother? Well, many reasons.

  • They are convenient
  • You can use the other hand to control mouse
  • You could use the other hand to drive 😉

Share your one hand shortcuts

This is a open mic post. So go ahead and share your one hand shortcuts.


Hello Awesome...

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.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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53 Responses to “Weekend open mic – Share your one hand Excel shortcuts”

  1. Amber says:

    Create an Excel Graph using just 1 keystroke.

    1. Click anywhere in your Excel sheet that has data.
    2. Press F11 on your keyboard.

    Amaze your friends ????

  2. Suryakant says:

    The shortcuts are;

    Cntrl+S - Save
    Cntrl+C - Copy
    Cntrl+V - Paste
    Cntrl+D - Copy data from above cell
    Cntrl+R - Copy data from left cell
    Cntrl+A - Select All
    Cntrl+X - cut
    Cntrl+B - Makes the letters bold
    Cntrl+u- Underline all the selected letters
    Cntrl+G - Go to
    Cntrl+F - Find
    Cntrl+Z - Undo

  3. Andy ZE says:

    Alt + F4 - Close Excel and go home!

  4. KB says:

    Alt+1 .. Alt+9, Alt+09 .. Alt+01, Alt+0A .. Alt+0P
    yes, I have 34 icons in the QAT, but only use about half of them

  5. Ryan says:

    I'm a huge fan of adding frequent actions, including macros to the quick access toolbar, and then using Alt + to use them.

    Example: paste special -> values is the first icon on the quick access bar. When I need it, I just hit Alt + 1. I have a personal macro that auto-fits column widths on the sheet - it's Alt + 4.

    It's a great way to turn almost anything into a one-hand shortcut.

    • Ajay says:

      You can auto-fit columns using the following shortcuts - One Handed

      Auto-fit Width - Alt+H+O+I
      Auto-fit Height - Alt+H+O+A


  6. Mani says:

    CTRL + C followed by CTRL + V will unmerge cells

  7. EXCELent Bacon says:

    Ctrl + Tab - cycle forward through open workbooks
    Ctrl + Shift + Tab - cycle backward through open workbooks

  8. Memboa says:

    alt+E+S -> for paste special
    a real time saver if you learn how to go deeper i.e:
    alt+E+S+L -> paste links
    alt+E+S+V -> paste values
    alt+E+S+F -> paste formula
    alt+E+S+T -> paste formats
    alt+E+G+S -> go to special
    alt + A + T -> filter
    Alt + D + E -> text to columns

  9. efand says:

    F4 - That's all I need to repeat action

  10. Jay says:

    F4 - Repeat last action. Huge time saver.

  11. Andrew says:

    Control + Alt + v gets you to the paste special menu... I use that one ALL THE TIME!

    • GraH says:

      So simple, yet unknown! I really like this one. Beats the ALT+e+s+v with ease. Since that one is language sensitive. f.e. in a Dutch Excel, the shortcut is ALT+r+v+n. Yet, CTRL+ALT+v keeps working.

  12. Triyambak Patro says:

    Alt + e+s+v : Paste Special - Value
    and a lot more just can't enumerate in a single post

  13. shaun says:

    Quick sum -- ALT + =
    Formatting -- Ctrl + 1

  14. Terp says:

    Great topic!

    My one-handers are all left-handers, since I prefer keeping my right hand on the mouse. This is an obsession of mine, hence the long list:

    Alt/Ribbon shortcuts:
    Alt-F-R to open Recent files
    Alt-F-A to Save As (2010)
    Alt-F-A-B to Save As (2013)
    Alt-F-D-A to Save & Send (Excel 2010)
    Alt-F-X to Exit Excel (faster than Alt-F4)
    Alt-A-T to add a Filter
    Alt-A-C to Clear Filter
    Alt-A-E for Text To Columns
    Alt-E-A-C to Clear Contents
    Alt-E-A-A to Clear All (including formats)
    Alt-E-A-F to Clear Formats
    Alt-E-D to Delete
    Alt-W-F-F to Freeze Panes
    Alt-W-W to Switch Windows
    Alt-A-S-A to Sort Ascending
    Alt-A-S-D to Sort Descending
    Alt-R-C for New Comment
    Alt-R-T to Edit Comment
    Alt-R-D to Delete Comment
    Alt-R-A to Show All Comments

    Ctrl+1 to Format Cells
    Ctrl+C/X/V for Copy, Cut & Paste
    Ctrl+F for Find
    Ctrl+B/I/U for Bold/Italic/Underline
    Ctrl+Z/Y for Undo/Redo
    Ctrl+W to Close Workbook
    Ctrl+D to Copy Down
    F2 Edit cell
    F4 Lock references
    Tab & Ctrl+Tab to navigate dialog boxes
    Ctrl+F1 to hide/unhide ribbon
    Alt+F1 for New Chart on Same Tab
    F11 for New Chart on New Tab (right-hander)
    Ctrl+A to Select All
    Ctrl+G to Go To specific cell (or F5)
    Alt-Tab or Alt-Tab-Tab to Switch Windows (can be tricky)

    Plus you can customize your QAT and get some easy Alt shortcuts. The icons on the left will be Alt-1, Alt-2, Alt-3, etc. Put frequently used icons there.

    I also recommend the following "hybrid" shortcuts that combine the mouse and left hand -- they're just as easy/fast as one-handed shortcuts. "RC" stands for Right-Click:

    RC-F for Format Cells (a little faster than Ctrl+1)
    RC-D for Delete
    RC-E to Insert Copied Cells

    Hybrid Paste Special shortcuts (after you've copied something):
    RC-V to Paste Values
    RC-R to Paste Formatting
    RC-S for first Paste Special Sub-Menu
    RC-S-S for second Paste Special Sub-Menu (the pop-up) (or use Alt-E-S)
    RC-S-T to Transpose
    RC-S-S-V-D- to Add Zero to convert text to numbers (after copying blank cell)
    RC-F-Spacebar to Paste Formulas

  15. indzara says:

    Apart from Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+S and Ctrl+1.

    Ctrl+F3 - Open Name Manager to create a named range of selected cells
    F3 - to select a named range for data validation list.

  16. Maiker says:

    F5 = Go to
    F1 = Help
    F2 = Active current cell
    F4 = repeat the last action

  17. Connie B says:

    I cannot live without ALT TAB to toggle between open programs.

  18. Jeff says:

    CTRL + 1 - To change formatting

    SHIFT + Spacebar - To highlight entire row

    CTRL + Spacebar - To highlight entire column

    CTRL + - - To delete highlighted items.

    Paste Values stores as ALT + 1 (Very helpful)

    CTRL + Page up/down - Jump through different worksheets.


    CTRL + HOME - to find myself back at A1

  19. Terp says:

    To create more left-handed shortcuts, I have taped a number pad to the left side of my keyboard. This allows me to do Ctrl+Home/End/PgUp/PgDn/Arrow keys -- all with my left hand. I tried several left-handed keyboards, but the number pad was too close and I kept hitting the wrong keys.

    To create even more, you can reprogram your keyboard (e.g., keys like Caps Lock). Then, if you have taped a number pad to the left like me, you have all kinds of possibilities. You can turn any key on that number pad into any other key -- and combine it with the Ctrl key on the bottom left of your keyboard. You can do this with utilities like Sharp Keys (you can Google to find more utilities).

  20. XLSTIME says:

    Best is
    Ctrl+C (Copy)
    Alt+E+S+V (for paste special)
    and One of the best F4 (repeat)

  21. Eric says:

    Zoom in or out using CTRL and your mouse wheel.

  22. MF says:

    For left hand
    Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V is no doubt the most used ones
    Ctrl+1 to format a cell or object
    Ctrl+A to select all

    For right hand
    Ctrl+page up/ down to go to next / previous sheet
    Alt+Enter to get auto sum

  23. Jason Morin says:


    Undo the undo!

    For some reason I use F4 to repeat my last action when formatting, but I'm programmed to press Ctrl+Y to undo my Ctrl+Z

  24. Utkarsh says:

    Ctrl + Shift + L to apply filters to data.

    or Use Alt + D , F , F..

  25. Aakash says:

    CTRL + I = Italicize selected text
    CTRL + Z = Undo
    CTRL + Y = Redo
    CTRL + X = Cut
    CTRL + C = Copy
    CTRL + V = Paste

    (Most common ones only, you can get more if you follow the link below)


  26. Chetan says:

    CTRL + T = Creates Table from the selected data range.
    CTRL + ` = Show Formulas
    CTRL + SHIFT + ` / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 = Different format options
    F9 = Calculate Now
    F9 = Evaluate a selected part of formula

  27. Thomas says:

    CTRL + H = Find & replace

  28. Eliud Glz says:

    Hi m favorite shortcuts;

    ALT + H + V Paste in Values
    ALT + H + F Paste Formls
    ALT + H + T Transpose
    ALT + H + S Paste Special

  29. GraH says:

    I do not really like the ALT-sequence short cuts, because they are language sensitive.
    Ok, admitting that at work most of us are using an English version, though I have colleagues using French, Spanish or German Office installations. And then they ask for help... Then I cry a little bit...
    And really, why do you all hate mice?

    • Terp says:

      GraH, I agree -- I love my mouse. I'm able to keep my right hand on the mouse 95% of the time, yet still use a lot of shortcuts. How? I've found alternatives to most of the critical shortcuts that require the right hand on the keyboard For example, for Paste Values, instead of Alt-H-V-S (which requires the right hand on the keyboard), I do Right-Click-V (right hand stays on the mouse). I call that a "hybrid" shortcut since it uses the mouse and the keyboard. It works because V is the underlined hot key for Values. I posted a lot of my favorite left-handed and hybrid shortcuts above. They all allow you to keep your right hand on the mouse. Typically, I only put my right hand on the keyboard for navigation and selection -- for example, Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+Arrow, etc.

  30. Sheila says:

    I think Ctrl+Y for redo is a waste of time, so I now use it to highlight a cell in yellow with this macro:

    Sub HighlightPaleYellowFormat()
    ' FormatHighlightPaleYellow Macro
    ' Shortcut key Ctrl+Y
    ' Equivalent to menu: Format | Borders & Shading | Shading | Pale Yellow, or NoFill
    If Selection.Font.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor wdColorLightYellow Then '= wdColorAutomatic
    Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight
    Selection.Font.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorLightYellow
    ElseIf Selection.Font.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorLightYellow Then
    Selection.Font.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
    End If
    End Sub

    'NB There is some difference between Range.HighlightColorIndex (for wdNoHighlight & wdYellow) for a range and
    ' BackgroundPatternColor (wdColorLightYellow & wdColorAutomatic), which is part of Shading object. Can be any valid WdColor constant or a value returned by the RGB function
    ' Don't know what the difference is.

  31. Rasheed says:

    Alt+I+R Insert row

  32. Hardi Uutma says:

    Selfmade shortcut for Ctrl+Alt+W.
    Pressing it once, wraps the cell contents in selection. Twice -> unwraps and autofits the column.

    Sub WrapText()

    Selection.WrapText = Not ActiveCell.WrapText
    If ActiveCell.WrapText = False Then Selection.Columns.AutoFit

    End Sub

  33. Daniel Rigby says:

    In addition to the others...

    Alt W F F - Freeze Panes
    Alt E S T - paste formatting

  34. Terp says:

    At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I just published an Excel Shortcuts book on Amazon -- The Excel Shortcut bible: https://www.amazon.com/Excel-Shortcut-Bible-Powerful-Shortcuts-ebook/dp/B01N767G7Z

    It is free through this Wednesday.

    I thought it would be useful to the shortcut-lovers on this post.

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