The Top 100 Excel Shortcuts You Need to Know


Excel is an essential tool for countless professionals, from accountants to data analysts, and everything in between. However, navigating through spreadsheets and performing calculations can be time-consuming and inefficient without utilizing Excel shortcuts. These keyboard shortcuts are designed to streamline tasks and increase productivity, making it crucial for anyone working with Excel to master them. By investing time in learning and memorizing these shortcuts, you can drastically reduce the time and effort required to perform common Excel functions, ultimately allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Excel shortcuts are crucial for streamlining tasks and increasing productivity.
  • Mastering Excel shortcuts can save significant time and effort.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are more efficient than manual navigation in Excel.
  • Shortcuts for formatting and editing cells can enhance efficiency in Excel.
  • Using shortcuts for formulas and functions can save time and improve accuracy.

Basic Navigation Shortcuts

In Excel, knowing how to navigate efficiently is essential for working quickly and effectively. By utilizing keyboard shortcuts, you can save time and streamline your workflow. Here are some commonly used shortcuts for basic navigation in Excel:

Moving Around Worksheets, Cells, and Workbooks

  • Ctrl + Page Up/Down: Switches between worksheets in the active workbook.
  • Ctrl + Arrow Keys: Moves to the edge of the current data region in the active worksheet.
  • Ctrl + Home: Moves to the beginning of the worksheet.
  • F5: Displays the Go To dialog box, allowing you to jump to a specific cell, range, or named range.
  • Ctrl + G: Opens the Go To dialog box as well.
  • Ctrl + O: Opens a new workbook.
  • Ctrl + W: Closes the current workbook.

Selecting Entire Rows, Columns, or Ranges Quickly

Excel provides shortcuts for selecting entire rows, columns, or ranges to save you from manually highlighting them. Some useful shortcuts include:

  • Shift + Space: Selects the entire row of the active cell.
  • Ctrl + Space: Selects the entire column of the active cell.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow: Selects all contiguous cells to the right of the active cell.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow: Selects all contiguous cells below the active cell.
  • Ctrl + Shift + End: Selects the entire range from the active cell to the last non-blank cell in the used range of the worksheet.

The Benefits of Using Keyboard Shortcuts over Manual Navigation

While it may seem more comfortable to navigate through Excel using your mouse and menus, utilizing keyboard shortcuts can significantly enhance your productivity. Here are a few advantages of using keyboard shortcuts:

  • Speed: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to execute commands quickly without the need to search through menus or click on various options.
  • Ergonomics: Using shortcuts reduces strain on your wrist and fingers, as you can avoid repetitive mouse movements.
  • Precision: Keyboard shortcuts often provide more precise control over your actions, enabling you to perform specific tasks with accuracy.
  • Efficiency: By mastering Excel shortcuts, you can streamline your workflow and accomplish more in less time.

Formatting and Editing Shortcuts

Efficiently formatting and editing cells in Excel is essential for creating organized and visually appealing spreadsheets. By utilizing the following shortcuts, you can save time and improve your productivity:

Applying Cell Formatting

  • Ctrl + B: Apply bold formatting to selected cells.
  • Ctrl + I: Apply italics formatting to selected cells.
  • Ctrl + U: Apply underline formatting to selected cells.

Copying Cell Formatting

To quickly copy formatting from one cell to another, you can use the following shortcut:

  • Ctrl + Shift + C: Copy the formatting from the selected cell.
  • Ctrl + Shift + V: Paste the formatting to the destination cell(s).

Inserting and Deleting Cells, Rows, and Columns

When it comes to efficiently inserting or deleting cells, rows, and columns, the following shortcuts can be incredibly helpful:

  • Ctrl + Shift + + (plus sign): Insert cells, rows, or columns depending on the selection.
  • Ctrl + - (minus sign): Delete cells, rows, or columns depending on the selection.

Undoing and Redoing Actions

To quickly undo or redo actions in Excel, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + Z: Undo the last action.
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo the last undone action.

By mastering these formatting and editing shortcuts, you can streamline your Excel workflow and become more efficient in creating and editing spreadsheets.

Formula and Function Shortcuts

Excel is a powerful tool that can handle complex calculations and data analysis. However, performing these tasks manually can be time-consuming and tedious. Thankfully, Excel provides a range of shortcuts that can significantly speed up the process of creating and editing formulas. In this chapter, we will explore the top Excel shortcuts for formulas and functions.

Time-saving shortcuts for creating and editing formulas in Excel

Creating and editing formulas is a fundamental aspect of working with Excel. Here are some essential shortcuts that can save you valuable time:

  • Ctrl + =: This shortcut inserts the equal sign (=) at the beginning of a cell, indicating that you are entering a formula.
  • F2: Pressing F2 allows you to edit the contents of a cell directly. This is particularly useful when you need to modify an existing formula.
  • Ctrl + Enter: Instead of pressing Enter after entering a formula in a cell, you can use Ctrl + Enter to quickly fill the formula down to multiple selected cells.

Benefits of using shortcuts for inserting functions and formula auto-completion

Excel offers a wide range of built-in functions that can simplify complex calculations. Here are some shortcuts that can help you efficiently insert functions and leverage formula auto-completion:

  • Ctrl + A: This shortcut opens the Function Arguments dialog box, allowing you to quickly enter the required arguments for a selected function.
  • Ctrl + Shift + A: Using this shortcut, you can quickly insert the AutoSum function, which automatically adds up a range of cells.
  • Tab: When typing a formula, pressing Tab helps you auto-complete it by suggesting function names and cell references.

Shortcuts for navigating and selecting cells within formulas

When working with complex formulas, navigating and selecting cells can become time-consuming. Here are some shortcuts to streamline this process:

  • Ctrl + Arrow Keys: This shortcut allows you to quickly move to the last non-empty cell in a selected row or column.
  • F5: Pressing F5 opens the Go To dialog box, enabling you to jump to a specific cell or range within your worksheet.

Shortcuts for adjusting and copying formulas efficiently

Formulas often require adjustment or duplication to analyze data effectively. These shortcuts can help you accomplish these tasks efficiently:

  • Ctrl + Drag: By holding Ctrl and dragging the fill handle, you can quickly copy a formula across multiple cells while adjusting the cell references accordingly.
  • Ctrl + ']': This shortcut selects all cells that are directly or indirectly referenced by a formula, allowing you to analyze the inputs and outputs of complex formulas.

Mastering these formula and function shortcuts will undoubtedly enhance your productivity and efficiency when working with Excel. With your newfound knowledge, you'll be able to streamline your data analysis and calculations, making Excel an even more powerful tool in your arsenal.

Data Entry and Manipulation Shortcuts

Excel is a powerful tool for managing and analyzing data, but navigating through large spreadsheets and entering data can be time-consuming. Fortunately, Excel offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts that can streamline your data entry and manipulation tasks. In this chapter, we will explore the top Excel shortcuts you need to know for quickly entering data, filling series, applying data validation, sorting and filtering data, as well as finding and replacing specific data.

Quickly Entering Data

  • Ctrl + Enter: When you need to enter the same value into multiple cells at once, select the range of cells, enter the value in the active cell, and then press Ctrl + Enter.
  • Ctrl + ;: Insert the current date into a cell with this shortcut. It saves you from manually entering the date each time.
  • F2: Edit the contents of a cell directly without having to double-click or use the formula bar. Simply select the cell and press F2 to activate the cell for editing.

Filling Series and Applying Data Validation

  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter: Quickly fill a selected range with a series of values, such as numbers, dates, or text.
  • Alt + D + L: Apply data validation to a cell or range. Data validation helps control the type and format of data entered into a cell, reducing errors and ensuring data consistency.

Sorting and Filtering Data

  • Alt + A + S + S: Sort data in ascending order based on the selected column.
  • Ctrl + Shift + L: Apply or remove filters to quickly analyze and visualize data. Filters allow you to display specific data based on criteria you specify.

Finding and Replacing Data

  • Ctrl + F: Open the Find and Replace dialog box to search for specific data in your spreadsheet.
  • Ctrl + H: Open the Find and Replace dialog box with the Replace tab activated, making it easy to find and replace specific data throughout your workbook.

By mastering these Excel shortcuts for data entry and manipulation, you can significantly improve your efficiency and productivity when working with large datasets. These shortcuts are just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to explore Excel's extensive list of keyboard shortcuts to find even more time-saving options.

Visualization and Analysis Shortcuts

Efficiently visualizing and analyzing data is crucial for making informed decisions in Excel. By utilizing various shortcuts, you can save time and enhance the overall usability of your worksheets. In this chapter, we will explore the top shortcuts for creating charts and graphs, applying formatting options, navigating and updating pivot tables, as well as performing data analysis.

Creating Charts and Graphs

Creating visual representations of data is essential for understanding trends and patterns. Excel offers numerous shortcuts to streamline the chart creation process:

  • Alt + F1: Instantly create a default chart based on the currently selected data.
  • F11: Generate a default column chart in a new worksheet.
  • Alt + Shift + F1: Insert a new chart sheet based on the selected data.

Applying Formatting Options

Formatting options play a crucial role in enhancing the visual appeal and readability of your charts and graphs. To quickly apply formatting options, consider the following shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + Shift + F: Open the Format Cells dialog box to modify various formatting options.
  • Ctrl + 1: Display the Format Cells dialog box with the Number tab selected for modifying numeric formatting.
  • Ctrl + Shift + ~: Apply the default number format to the selected cells.

Navigating and Updating Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are powerful tools for summarizing and analyzing data. To efficiently navigate and update pivot tables, take advantage of these shortcuts:

  • Alt + ↓: Open the drop-down list for the selected cell within a pivot table.
  • Alt + Shift + →: Group selected items in a pivot table field.
  • Ctrl + Shift + L: Toggle the AutoFilter for the selected pivot table field.

Data Analysis Shortcuts

Performing data analysis tasks, such as sorting, filtering, and conditional formatting, is essential for gaining insights from your data. Here are some useful shortcuts to streamline these processes:

  • Alt + ↓/↑: Sort the selected column in ascending or descending order.
  • Ctrl + Shift + L: Toggle the AutoFilter to quickly filter data based on column headers.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F: Apply conditional formatting to highlight cells that meet specific criteria.


Learning and utilizing Excel shortcuts is essential for anyone looking to become more proficient in using this powerful spreadsheet software. By practicing and gradually incorporating shortcuts into your Excel workflow, you can significantly improve your productivity and efficiency. The time and effort-saving benefits of mastering these shortcuts cannot be overstated. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, make it a priority to familiarize yourself with the top 100 Excel shortcuts and start reaping the rewards today.

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