5 Must Know Excel Shortcuts

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There is one word for improving your efficiency in Excel. Shortcuts. In laymen terms shortcuts allow you to perform tasks quickly using your keyboard. This blog looks at 5 Must Know Excel Shortcuts which will help you improve your efficiency in Excel.

NOTE: You can follow these examples yourself by downloading the Excel spreadsheet and watching the YouTube video.

Shortcut 1 – The Grandfather

The first must know shortcut is quite literally the grandfather of all shortcuts. It sits at the top of the family tree and gives you access to numerous 1st and 2nd generation shortcuts. What is it?

ALT + LETTER – gives you access to the Menu Ribbon – See Figure 1


Figure 1: ALT + LETTER

Notice the letters which pop-up in Figure 1, once the ALT key is pushed. If you push anyone of these letters then you will go into that menu. For example pushing “N” will take you into INSERT menu.
If you follow on the initial letter with another letter corresponding to an action, then that action will be performed.

Shortcut 2 – Charting at the Touch of a Button

Want to insert an Excel chart at the touch of a button? Well, all you need to know is:

F11 – Charts the selected cells

Select the cells you want to chart and then press F11. It really is that simple.

Shortcut 3 – Finding Your Way

Navigating through Excel sheets is made easy with this shortcut. Simply press:

  • CTRL + PAGE DOWN – move one sheet to the right
  • CTRL + PAGE UP – move one sheet to the left

No more having to click from sheet to sheet, ensures you’re saving time.

Shortcut 4 – The Go to Guy for Auditing

This is one of the best shortcuts for flying around the Excel layout and helping you audit your model or spreadsheet

F5 – (1) takes you to a highlighted formula; or (2) take you to a named range or cell

For example if you have highlighted a particular input in a formula, you can press F5+ENTER and it will take you to that input. Also you can just press F5, select any named range or cell and press ENTER. Excel will navigate to that particular named range or cell.

You can also use F5 to perform another nifty trick. When tracing precedents or dependents you can press F5+ENTER and you will go back to the previous traced cell.

Shortcut 5 – Not sure if this one is technically a keyboard shortcut

Some might say that shortcut 5 is not technically a shortcut. They may be right; however it can cut down the time taken to perform tasks such as formatting. Enter the:

APPLICATION KEY (although we like to call it the LIST key) – basically acts like your right mouse button

Having the LIST key means no more having to take your hand off the keyboard. The list key is shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Picture of the Application Key (doesn’t it look like a LIST with a mouse cursor on it?

Figure 3 shows the display after the LIST key is pushed. As you can see, there are a number of items which can be performed.


Figure 3: Display after the Application (List) key is pushed

If you like this Blog, check out our Excel Shortcuts training course which has plenty more tips and tricks.

By | 2011-07-01T12:34:46+00:00 July 1st, 2011|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Satchell October 29, 2011 at 9:54 am - Reply

    You’re the geraetst! JMHO

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