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Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts

This article provides a link to one of the most comprehensive lists of Excel shortcuts available on the Internet.  By Liam Bastick, director with SumProduct Pty Ltd.

Query

Everyone tells me that using the keyboard is faster than using the mouse and that I should learn the most common keyboard shortcuts.  Do you have a list of the common ones in Excel?

Advice

It’s short and sweet this time, but hopefully, you will find the attachment very useful.

For a start, I try not to get drawn into keyboard versus mouse debates.  Each has their merits and their drawbacks.  For example:

  • Activating hyperlinks with the keyboard is good fun…
  • Highlighting large contiguous areas in a worksheet with a mouse can be laborious and slow, especially in Excel 2007, whereas CTRL + * highlights the range instantly.

In essence, it is my opinion that the fastest way to work in Excel is a combination of both mouse and keyboard.  To that end, knowing the “useful” keyboard shortcuts is advantageous but not necessarily essential.

There are also several web sites that endeavour to list many of the Excel keyboard shortcuts.  It is my experience there is no single web site that lists them all.  Indeed, some contain errors or shortcuts that have been phased out over the years.

With this in mind, I have constructed my own reference document in the attached Excel file.  This file builds on all of the existing articles as I try to ensure I have the largest list and that the shortcuts listed still do work.  With this borne in mind, please note:

  • I do not claim this is a comprehensive list of all known keyboard shortcuts.  Please feel free to write to me regarding omissions to the list
  • Some are obscure and do different operations in different circumstances, e.g. the function key F4 repeats the last action unless you are in Edit mode (i.e. the cursor is in the formula bar of the F2 function key has been depressed)
  • Some only work in some versions of Excel, or depend on the PC or operating system.  It may be that not all of these shortcuts will work on your system.

There are various web sites that cite what are considered to be the most useful keyboard shortcuts. However, this is a subjective exercise and depends upon what the developer is using the software for: it is best if you decide for yourself.

If you have a query for this section, please feel free to drop Liam a line at liam.bastick@sumproduct.com or visit the SumProduct website www.sumproduct.com

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