The Best Excel Shortcuts

Shortcuts are a way to improve your productivity and save time—as well as keeping you from reaching to that mouse when you just want to be using the keyboard. Today, we’ll show you some of the best Excel Shortcuts that can make your life so much easier.

The Basics

  • Need to select all items in your worksheet? Just hit Ctrl+A, and you’re set!
  • Want to find a specific word? Go for Ctrl+F and the Search and Replace panel will pop open!

  • Need to copy and paste a cell? Ctrl+C will copy it, and Ctrl+V will paste it. If you want to copy and paste entire rows and columns, just select them and use those shortcuts! If you’d rather cut a cell than copy it, then use Ctrl+X instead of Ctrl+C.
  • While we’re on selections—if you hit a directional arrow key+Shift, the cells in your chosen direction will be selected! Another thing you can do is Left Arrow+Shift to select however many columns you want and, while still holding Shift, press Ctrl+Arrow Down to select all columns below that one, or Ctrl+Arrow Up to select all above
  • Ctrl+N creates a new Workbook, and Ctrl+O opens an existing one
  • Ctrl+S saves your changes, and F12 opens the Save As… box
  • Want to repeat your last action you applied to a cell? Select a new one and hit F4!
  • For changing the tab menus, Alt+F opens the File tab, Alt+H opens the Home tab, Alt+N for the Insert tab, Alt+P for Page Layout, Alt+M for Formulas, Alt+A for Data, Alt+R for Review, Alt+W for View, Alt+X for Add-ins.
  • Formatting a cell’s text? Ctrl+B will bold it, Ctrl+I will italicize, Ctrl+U will underline, and Ctrl+5 will strikethrough.
  • Ctrl+Tab will switch between open workbooks
  • Alt+F8 brings up the Macro panel
  • Alt+’ (apostrophe) will display the Style Dialog box

Advanced Shortcuts

  • To select only the cells that are currently visible, select your range, and hit Alt+; (or Cmd+Shift+Z on Mac!)
  • Ctrl+. (period) will take you around the corners of your chosen data range. Every time you press it, it will go to a different corner.
  • If you need to copy data from one cell to others, select the cells you want to apply it to, then instead of hitting Enter after typing the formula, do Ctrl+Enter instead. This will copy the formula to every selected cell—and it works for values too!
  • Ctrl+R and Ctrl+D copies your data or formula to the Right or to the Left, respectively
  • Want a line break? Choose a cell, hit Alt+Enter (or Ctrl+Option+Enter on Mac), and voilá!
  • To find cells where the range is different from the cell you’ve currently selected, try using Ctrl+Shift and all cells that have differences will be selected within a row. If you want differences within a column, then the shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+\ (backslash).
  • Need to see more of the worksheet and less ribbon? Ctrl+F1 (or Cmd+Option+R on Mac) will hide the ribbon!
  • To trigger the auto-fit for columns so they’re the Goldilocks of length (just right!), hit Alt, then H, then O, then I (as in, following each other, not all at once). For rows, it’s Alt, then H, then O, then A.
  • If your formula is bigger than one line, the bar can be expanded by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.
  • Ctrl+F3 will bring up the Name Manager for your ranges