Excel Keyboard Shortcuts: Tips and Tricks for Working Efficiently

Excel is a powerful tool that can be used for many things, from tracking finances to managing data. However, with such a vast number of features, it can be overwhelming to use it efficiently. One way to increase productivity when working with Excel is to master keyboard shortcuts. With the help of this article, you can learn the most essential keyboard shortcuts for Excel that can save you time and reduce strain on your hands.


Why Use Keyboard Shortcuts?

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to increase efficiency and productivity when using Excel. Here are some benefits of using keyboard shortcuts:

Minimize mouse usage: Instead of clicking through menus and buttons, you can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate through Excel.

Reduce hand strain: Repeated mouse clicking can lead to hand and wrist pain. Using keyboard shortcuts can alleviate these issues and reduce the risk of injury.

Save time: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to complete tasks faster, which in turn improves overall productivity.


Common Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Navigating Excel

Navigating through an Excel spreadsheet can be time-consuming without keyboard shortcuts. Here are some common shortcuts that can help you save time:


Ctrl + Home – to go to the cell in the first column and first row

Ctrl + End – to go to the last populated cell in a worksheet

Ctrl + Arrow Keys – to move in different directions in a worksheet

Ctrl + Page Up/Page Down – to navigate between different worksheets in a workbook


Cell Formatting and Editing

Formatting cells and editing data in Excel can be tedious if you do it manually. Consider these shortcuts to streamline these tasks:


Ctrl + B – to make text bold

Ctrl + U – to underline text

Ctrl + I – to italicize text

Ctrl + 1 – to open the Format Cells dialog box

Ctrl + Shift + $ – to format cells as currency

Ctrl + Shift + % – to format cells as a percentage


Formula and Function Shortcuts

Formulas and functions are essential features in Excel, and it may take some time to become proficient in using them. Here are some shortcuts you can use to reduce your workload:

Ctrl + Shift + L – to view a list of formulas

F4 – to repeat the last action or edit the active cell

Alt + = – to enter the Sum function into an adjacent cell


Workbook and Worksheet Management

Managing workbooks and worksheets can be time-consuming without the use of keyboard shortcuts. Here are a few shortcuts to help:

Ctrl + O – to open a new workbook

Ctrl + N – to create a new workbook

Ctrl + W – to close the current workbook

Ctrl + P – to print the current workbook

Shift + Ctrl + F11 – to insert a new worksheet


Tips and Tricks

Customizing Your Shortcuts

Excel allows you to customize your own keyboard shortcuts to further customize your experience. Here are some tips to help you:

Go to the File menu, then click Options and then Quick Access Toolbar

Select the command you wish to customize and click on “Customize Ribbon”

Choose your custom shortcut and click on “Apply”


Memorizing Shortcuts

Once you have learned about the different keyboard shortcuts for Excel, you can begin practicing. Consider these memorization techniques:

Repeat the shortcuts out loud

Make flashcards

Practice the shortcuts in a simulated Excel environment online


Tips for Efficiency

Here are some final tips to help you maximize efficiency when using keyboard shortcuts:

  • Choose the right shortcuts that work best for you
  • Utilize the shortcuts that you use the most to maximize efficiency
  • Optimize shortcut keystrokes to reduce hand strain



Q. Why should I use keyboard shortcuts in Excel?

Using keyboard shortcuts saves you time and increases productivity while reducing strain on your hands

Q. How do I customize keyboard shortcuts in Excel?

You can customize keyboard shortcuts in Excel by going to File, then Options, and then Quick Access Toolbar. From there, select the command you wish to customize and click on “Customize Ribbon”

Q. Which keyboard shortcuts should I focus on learning first?

Focus on learning the shortcuts that you use the most to maximize efficiency.

Q. Can I use keyboard shortcuts on a Macintosh computer?

Yes, you can use keyboard shortcuts on a Macintosh computer, but the keystrokes may differ slightly.

Q. How do I use the F2 key in Excel?

The F2 key allows you to edit a cell or formula.

Q. Can I undo a keyboard shortcut in Excel?

Yes, you can undo a keyboard shortcut by pressing Ctrl + Z.

Q. How long does it take to become proficient at using Excel keyboard shortcuts?

It may take varying amounts of time for different people, but with practice and repetition, proficiency can be achieved relatively quickly.



Mastering Excel keyboard shortcuts can help you work more efficiently and save time when working with data. Take advantage of these built-in shortcuts for essential tasks in Excel, and don’t forget that you can also create your own custom shortcuts. By using keyboard shortcuts, you can minimize mouse usage, reduce hand strain, and streamline workflows to maximize your productivity.

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