Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Data analysis: visualisations in Excel
Data analysis: visualisations in Excel

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.5 Using shortcut keys in Excel

One of the most beneficial things in Excel is being able to control the user interface without using the mouse. This will substantially speed up your Excel projects, especially when working under pressure in a professional environment.

Some of the most useful shortcuts are listed in the tables below. Try some of these out while reading the list.

Table 1 Navigating inside and between worksheets
Arrow keys Move around the spreadsheet.
Page Down/Page Up Move screen down or up.
Ctrl + Arrow keys Move to the edge of a region. This is useful for navigating large blocks of data, particularly with the Ctrl + Shift + Arrow selection functionality.
Home Move to the beginning of a row.
Ctrl + Home Move to the beginning of a worksheet. This is most useful if you have multiple worksheets and want to prepare a nice-looking workbook, by cycling through all worksheets pressing Ctrl + Page Down and Ctrl + Home for each sheet, which quickly puts the cursor in the upper-left corner.
Ctrl + F Display the ‘Find’ dialog box.
Ctrl + H Display the ‘Find and Replace’ dialog box.
Ctrl + Tab Set focus on next workbook if multiple workbooks are open.
Table 2 Data selection
Shift + Space Select the entire row at the cursor position.
Ctrl + Space Select the entire column at the cursor position.
Ctrl + A Select the entire worksheet or the data-containing area. Press Ctrl + A a second time to select the entire worksheet.
Ctrl + Shift + Page Up Select the current and previous sheet in a workbook. This is useful if you have similar worksheets and want to edit cells in all of them at the same time.
Shift + Arrow key Extend the selection by one cell. This is one of the most useful shortcuts.
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow key Extend the selection to the last cell with content in row or column. You can do this with the Page Up/Down keys.
Shift + F8 Add another range to the selected range of cells.
Esc Cancel selection.
Table 3  Editing
Ctrl + C Copy active selection.
Ctrl + X Cut active selection. Think carefully about whether you want to copy or cut a selection before pasting in each situation, because cell references in copied selections will point to other cells and not the original references when pasted.
Ctrl + V Paste active selection.
Ctrl + Z Undo last action.
Ctrl + Y Redo last action.
F2 Edit current cell.
F4 Repeat last formatting action.
Alt + Enter Start a new line in the same cell when entering text.
Ctrl + D Copy above cell down.
Ctrl + ‘+’ Insert row/column.
Ctrl + ‘-’ Delete row/column.
Ctrl + 1 Show the ‘Format cells’ dialog.
Shift + F11 Insert new worksheet.
Table 4 Formulas and special functions
Ctrl + Shift + Enter Enter an array formula. Must have a range selected first. (This is shown here only for reference and will be explained later.)
Shift + F3 Display the ‘Insert Function’ dialog.
F4 When editing a cell reference (e.g. ‘H5’), pressing F4 makes this reference absolute (e.g., ‘$H$5’). Pressing F4 repeatedly makes only row or column absolute.
F9 Force re-calculation of worksheets. It can be used to calculate part of a formula, when selecting part of formula and pressing F9, this evaluates the selected part.
Shift + F9 Calculate the active worksheet.
F12 Display the ‘Save As’ dialog.
Ctrl + S Save the current workbook. Extremely useful for the occasional power outage or computer crash.
Ctrl + F1 Minimise or show the ribbon.