May 24, 2017 Last updated May 18th, 2017 2,556 Reads share

Top 8 Handy Microsoft Excel Shortcuts Every User Should Know

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If you say you don’t know what Excel is and what it’s used for, then obviously you don’t use computers that often. A lot of people use Microsoft Excel daily to work with many types of data, such as calculate sales, salary, or create a report for their next meeting.

However, when you do those tasks in Excel, it consumes a lot of time, especially when you work with large data. It’s not a big deal when you have more time to work. But when the deadline is close, one or two more minutes are also helpful.

Have you ever wondered how to work with your spreadsheet more efficiently? What do you think about ways that can speed up your tasks? For example, creating tables, inserting more rows and columns, selecting, formatting, navigating, or using formulas. All those tasks can be done quite faster with keyboard shortcuts.


Luckily, we have collected many handy Excel keyboard shortcuts and put them together in a list. These shortcuts will help you save time to focus on other tasks. So, if you want to try them out, take a look below.

#1. Jump Between Different Spreadsheets

Clicking on the worksheet that you want to open is one way to switch between your worksheets. But you can do it a lot faster by pressing Ctrl + PgDn or Ctrl + PgUp. These two keyboard shortcuts will help you to move to the next spreadsheet or back to the previous one, respectively.

#2. Use Paste Special Faster

Instead of copying and pasting Excel’s cells and its data and keeping all formats, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + V to bring up the Paste Special dialog box. Subsequently, you can select the type of paste that you want to use.

This keyboard shortcut will help you save time when using the paste function in Excel. For example, you can use it to remove all unwanted formats or formulas, and just keep rows, columns, and its data.

There are also many other options you can choose. It’s all there! If you want to try, create an experiment worksheet, fill in some data and test the shortcut to see how it works.

#3. Select All

How often do you use Ctrl + All to choose all rows and columns? However, this keyboard shortcut will work in a few different ways, depending on the context.

For example, if your pointer is in a blank cell, the Ctrl + A shortcut chooses the whole spreadsheet. But if your pointer is in a group of cells, then it will select the entire group.

Besides, when your cursor is in a table, the Ctrl + A shortcut will choose all table data in the first press. But if you press that shortcut again, all table data, as well as its header, will be chosen. Press Ctrl + A one more time and the entire spreadsheet will be selected.

#4. Enable/Disable Autofilter

Have you ever used filters in Microsoft Excel? Simply press Ctrl + Shift + L to enable autofilter, which allows you to sort and filter any list and data set quite quickly.

To turn off autofilter, you just need to press this keyboard shortcut again. The best part is that when you turn off autofilter, all sorts and filters will be removed. So, if you want to reset all things that you have done with autofilter, you just need to disable it. This way is far faster than changing each sort or filter manually.

#5. Autosum All Chosen Cells In Excel

For saving time to select rows (or columns) and then type SUM formula, you can sum all value of a range of cells (or columns) with the autosum function. As for instance, if you want to sum all cells in a column, scroll down and select a blank cell at the end of the column and then press Alt + = (aka. Alt + equal sign). To sum up some rows, choose a blank row at the right of those rows and use the same shortcut above.

Even more, you can add multiple SUM functions at once by selecting a range of blank cells in one row or column. For example, if you want to get the total value of multiple columns, just choose all empty cells under those columns and then press Alt + =. Or if you want to sum multiple rows, select all empty cells after those rows and use the same shortcut.

#6. Insert/Delete Rows Or Columns

Most people often use the right-click to add more rows or columns which is the traditional way. But to add more rows or columns quicker, you need to use Ctrl + Shift + + shortcut (aka. Ctrl + Shift + Plus).

To get started, choose a whole row (or column) where you want to add more rows (or column), and then use the keyboard shortcut above to add more rows (or column). Press down and hold Ctrl + Shift, then press “+” multiple times to add multiple rows (or columns) as you want. To select an entire row or column faster, you can press Shift + Spacebar or Ctrl + Spacebar, respectively.

As for deleting rows or columns, you can use Ctrl + – (aka Ctrl + Minus). You just need to select an entire row or column where you want to delete and then use Ctrl + – shortcut. Keep pressing “-” multiple times while holding Ctrl to delete more rows or columns.

#7. Change Number Format Quickly

How do you enter a lot of currency value with its sign into your worksheet? It will take a lot of time! But instead of filling in $20, $30, or $40, you can enter 20, 30, or 40 and then use the Ctrl + Shift + $ shortcut to reformat those numbers.

Here is the list of number formats that you should know. Let’s spend some time trying them; you will get the idea very quickly.

  • General: Ctrl + Shift + ~
  • Number: Ctrl + Shift + !
  • Currency: Ctrl + Shift + $
  • Scientific: Ctrl + Shift + ^
  • Percentage: Ctrl + Shift + %
  • Date: Ctrl + Shift + #
  • Time: Ctrl + Shift + @

#8. Create Chart

To create a chart quicker, you can choose the data that will display in the chart, and then press Alt + F1. Microsoft Excel will automatically create a new chart based on your chosen data and display it in the same spreadsheet, using the default settings.

If you think we have missed any useful Excel keyboard shortcuts, feel free to add them to the comment section below.

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Tim Berty

Tim Berty

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