Excel shortcuts: Tips and tricks to speed up in Excel

Learning Excel keyboard shortcuts will improve your speed and productivity in a big way. Most of the daily routines in the excel worksheets can be done using keyboard shortcuts. This blog contains nearly all the shortcuts which can be helpful while working with Excel.

Excel shortcuts and tips:


How to know the Excel shortcut key combinations (Alt + []):

Shortcut keys can be accessed by hitting ‘Alt’ key on the keyboard. After hitting ‘Alt’ key, the next combination keyword will appear on Excel ribbon as shown in the image below.

excel shortcuts 1


If we type ‘Alt+F’, it will take us to ‘File’ tab. If we hit ‘Alt+H’ then this shortcut key will take us to ‘Home’ tab and so on. Similarly you can type in the combination depending on the operation you want to perform.


Let us take the example of Home tab and see how we can speed up our actions with Shortcut commands.

excel shortcuts 2


We hit ‘Alt+H’ key to enter into the Home tab. As we can see from the image above the next set of keywords appeared. We need to hit the required keyword to complete the action. For example, to center align the cell text we need to hit ‘AC’. To Merge and Center, we need to hit ‘M’ key.

Here are the few list of keyboard shortcuts that are used very frequently in Home tab:

  • ‘Alt+H+B+A’ – To draw a thin border
  • ‘Alt+H+FC’ – To change the text color
  • ‘Alt+H+AM’ – To middle align the text
  • ‘Alt+H+W’ – To wrap text

To clear contents of the cell. Select the cell and hit ‘Alt+H+E’ to enter into sub menu of ‘Clear’ section. Now, select the required key, Hit ‘A’ (i.e. Alt+H+E+A) to clear all as shown in the image below.

To access ‘sort and filter’ hit ‘Alt+H+S’ to enter into sub menu. Now, select the required key stroke. Similarly, we can combine the keystrokes as needed and suggested.


Basic shortcut commands

Most frequently used shortcut keys for excel in windows are mentioned below.

Shift+F10 - simulates right mouse button

Ctrl+C - Copy contents of selected cells

Ctrl+X - Cut contents of selected cells

Ctrl+V - Paste content from clipboard into selected cell

Ctrl+Z - Undo last action

Ctrl+Y - Redo last action

Ctrl+Alt+V - Displays the Paste Special dialog box


Navigating across worksheets

Arrow Keys – Move one cell up, down, left, or right in a sheet

Alt+Page Down/Alt+Page Up – Move one screen to the right / to the left in a sheet

Page Down/Page Up – Move one screen down / one screen up in a sheet

Tab/Shift+Tab – Move one cell to the right / to the left in a sheet

Ctrl+Arrow Keys – Move to the edge of data range

Home – Move to the beginning of a row in a sheet

Ctrl+Home – Move to the beginning of a sheet

Ctrl+End – Move to the last cell with content

Ctrl+F – Display the Find and Replace dialog box

Shift+F4 – Repeat last find

Ctrl+G (or F5) – Display the ‘Go To’ dialog box

Ctrl+Arrow Left/Ctrl+Arrow Right –  Move one word to the left / to the right

Home/End – Move to the beginning or to the end of a cell

Alt+Arrow Down – Display the AutoComplete list like dropdown list

End – Turn on/off ‘End’ mode, press arrow keys to move to the next nonempty cell in the same column or row, home to move to last cell, or enter to move to the last cell to the right


Basic and Advanced Cell Selections

Shift+Space – Select the entire row

Ctrl+Space – Select the entire column

Shift+Arrow Keys – Extend the selection by one cell

Shift+Page Down/Shift+Page Up – Extend the selection down one screen /up one screen

Shift+Home – Extend the selection to the beginning of the row

Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Key – Extend the selection to the last cell with content in a row or column

Ctrl+A – Select the entire sheet

Ctrl+Shift+Home – Extend the selection to the first cell of the sheet

Ctrl+Shift+End – Extend the selection to the last used cell on the sheet

Shift+Home/End – Select from the insertion point to the beginning / to the end inside the cell

Shift+Arrow Left/Arrow Right – Select or unselect one character to the left / right

Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Left/Arrow Right – Select or unselect one word to the left / to the right in the cell


Edit Cells

Ctrl+D - Fill Down Select cells with value in first row Ctrl+D fills the value of that first cell in selection to all cells in selection downwards

Ctrl+R – Fill Right: Select cell with value in first cell Ctrl+E fills value of that first cell in selection to all cells rightwards

[Ctrl+ -] – Delete Cell/Row/Column Menu

 [Ctrl+Shift++] – Insert Cell/Row/Column Menu

Shift+F2 – Insert / Edit a cell comment

Shift+F10+M – Delete comment

Ctrl+K – Insert a Hyperlink

Ctrl+9 – Hide the selected rows

Ctrl+Shift+9 – Unhide any hidden rows within the selection

Ctrl+0 – Hide the selected columns


Edit Content of Cells

F2 – Edit the active cell

Enter – Complete a cell entry

Alt+Enter – Start a new line in the same cell

Shift+Enter – Complete a cell entry and move up in the selection

Tab/Shift+Tab – Complete a cell entry and move to the right / to the left in the selection

Esc – Cancel a cell entry/ selection

Ctrl+Delete – Delete text to the end of the line

[Ctrl+;] – Insert current date

[Ctrl+Shift+:] – Insert current time

[Ctrl+’] Duplicate value from cell above into current cell


Format Cells

Ctrl+1 – Open Format Cells dialog

Ctrl+Shift+F – Open Format Cells dialog with Font Tab active

Ctrl+B – Apply or remove bold formatting

Ctrl+I - Apply or remove italic formatting

Ctrl+U – Apply or remove an underline

Ctrl+5 – Apply or remove strikethrough formatting

Ctrl+Shift+~ – Apply the General number format

Ctrl+Shift+1 – Apply the Number format with two decimal places.

Ctrl+Shift+2 – Apply the Time format with the hour and minute, and indicate AM or PM

Ctrl+Shift+3 – Apply the Date format with the day, month, and year

Ctrl+Shift+4 – Apply the Currency format with two decimal places

Ctrl+Shift+5 – Apply the Percentage format

Ctrl+Shift+6 – Apply the Scientific number format with two decimal places

F4 – Repeat last formatting action


Apply Basic Borders to Cells

Ctrl+Shift+7 – Apply outline border for cell or range

[ Ctrl+Shift+_ ] – Remove outline borders from cell or range



[Alt+=] – Insert the AutoSum formula

Shift+F3 – Display the Insert Function dialog box

Ctrl+A – Display Formula Window after typing formula name

Ctrl+Shift+A – Insert Arguments in formula after typing formula name

Shift+F3 – Insert a function into a formula

Ctrl+Shift+Enter – Enter a formula as an array formula

F4 – To make reference absolute (=$A$1)


Navigate across worksheets

Ctrl+Page Down/Page Up – Move to the next / previous worksheet in current workbook

Shift+F11/Alt+Shift+F1 – Insert a new worksheet in current workbook

Ctrl+Shift+Page Up / Page Down – Select the current and previous sheet / and next sheet in a workbook


Manage Workbooks

F6/Shift+F6 – Move to the next pane / previous pane in a workbook that has been split

Ctrl+F4 – Close the selected workbook

Ctrl+N – Create a new blank workbook

Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+Tab – Move to next / previous workbook window

Alt+Space – Display the Control menu for Main Excel window

Ctrl+F9 Minimize current workbook window

Ctrl+F10 – Maximize the selected workbook window

Ctrl+F7 – Move Workbook Windows which are not maximized

Ctrl+F8 – Perform size command for workbook windows

Alt+F4 – Close Excel Application


Pivot Tables

Alt+C – Move the selected field into the Column area

Alt+D – Move the selected field into the Data area

Alt+L – Display the PivotTable Field dialog box

Alt+P - Move the selected field into the Page area

Alt+R – Move the selected field into the Row area

Ctrl+Shift+* – Select the entire PivotTable report

Space – Select or clear a check box in the list

Ctrl+Tab/ Ctrl+Shift+Tab – Select the PivotTable toolbar

Enter then Arrow Down /Arrow Up – Select the area you want to move the selected field

Alt+Shift+Arrow Right – Group selected PivotTable items

Alt+Shift+Arrow Left – Ungroup selected PivotTable items


Various Excel Features

Ctrl+O – Open File

Ctrl+S – Save the current file with its current file name, location, and file format

F12 – Display the Save As dialog box

F10 or alt – Turn key tips on or off

Ctrl+P – Opens print menu

F1 – Displays the Excel Help

F7 – Displays the Spelling dialog box

Shift+F7 – Displays the Thesaurus dialog box

Alt+F8 – Displays the Macro dialog box

Alt+F11 – Open the Visual Basic Editor


These are the most frequently used Excel Shortcuts which are required to be quick on working  with Excel. Need any more inputs on Shortcuts? Reach our Excel Expert here.

  • 22 Nov, 2014
  • Excel for Commerce
  • Excel Consultant, Excel Expert, Excel Keyboard Shortcuts,



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