HOW TO: Boost Productivity with Simple Excel Shortcuts

  • News

Excel! That intimidating green icon on your Program ribbon that you only visit before tax season or to create that invite list for this year’s Halloween bash. And, while Excel certainly provides a lot of advanced formulas and functions, learning a handful of shortcuts will make you more efficient than you ever thought possible.

Most importantly, all of your go-to Windows shortcuts work in Excel. Ctrl + N to open a new book, Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste, Ctrl + Y to repeat the last function, and—a fan favorite—Ctrl + Z to undo the last action. (On Macs, use the command key instead of CTRL.)

Specific to Excel, though, are these keyboard gems which will have your forsaking your mouse forever:

Keyboard Shortcut


F2 Edit a cell
Ctrl + Shift + & Add a border to the selected cell
Alt + H + H Fill a cell with color
Tab Move to the next cell
Shift + Tab Move to the previous cell
Shift + Space Select an entire row
Ctrl + Space Select an entire column
Shift + Space, Ctrl + – Delete an entire row
Alt + H + D +C Delete an entire column
Ctrl + H Display Find and Replace
Alt + Down Arrow Activate a Filter
Ctrl + K Insert a hyperlink

Possibly the best shortcut when you’re stuck and don’t know where to turn next is Alt + Q which jumps you to the “Tell me what you want to do” search box, where you can ask for the help you need. With these shortcuts and a little practice, Excel can be your go-to tool for creating and organizing lists, doing calculations, tracking progress (for example, a fitness program weights and measures), and even doing your taxes.

Once you’ve mastered the basic functions, check out a course at Udemy to learn more advanced capabilities or visit SimpliLearn to learn some basic formulas. When you’ve got your head around all this, you MAY be able to tackle your 6th grader’s math homework!

Close Menu