The Ultimate Excel Shortcuts Guide

Tired of spending hours navigating through Excel spreadsheets? You’re not alone! It’s time to sharpen up your Excel skills with these 50+ Excel shortcuts. It’s time to #WorkSmarterNotHarder!

This ultimate guide aims to teach you the most helpful and time-saving Excel shortcuts to maximize your productivity. With a wide range of tips and tricks, you’ll quickly transform from a spreadsheet novice to a seasoned expert. Leave your boss, colleagues, and clients thoroughly impressed.

Get ready to boost your Excel skills and give your mouse some much-deserved rest.

Understanding Excel Shortcuts And Their Benefits

Different Types of Shortcuts

In Excel, there are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to perform various tasks efficiently. This is especially true for tasks you complete regularly.

Here are some of the types of Excel shortcuts that you’ll come across (and likely need):

Time-Saving Impact

Embracing Excel shortcuts can significantly reduce the time spent on routine tasks.

For example, pressing Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V allows you to copy and paste data. This is much faster than using clicking around the Home tab or the right-click menu.

Using shortcuts boosts your productivity in data analysis, manipulation, and presentation. As you master more shortcuts, you’ll find yourself breezing through your tasks. This will leave you more time for the important activities, i.e. understanding the spreadsheet!

One of the first things I always tell my new graduates is to become proficient in Excel shortcuts. Some of them have become absolute Excel machines!

Basic Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

This batch of Excel shortcuts should be the bare minimum if you open Excel at least a couple of times a week. It’ll help you move around the spreadsheet and speed up your workflow.

I’ve included Windows and Mac shortcuts for reference.

Navigating Spreadsheets

Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
Go to cell A1Ctrl + HomeFn + Ctrl + ←Moves the cursor to cell A1.
Go to last cellCtrl + EndFn + Ctrl + →Moves the cursor to the last cell with content.
Scroll to next sheetCtrl + PgDnFn + Ctrl + ↓Scrolls to the next sheet in the workbook.
Scroll to previous sheetCtrl + PgUpFn + Ctrl + ↑Scrolls to the previous sheet in the workbook.
Move to next cellTabTabMoves the cursor to the next cell.
Move to previous cellShift + TabShift + TabMoves the cursor to the previous cell.
Select entire columnCtrl + SpaceCtrl + SpaceSelects the entire column.
Select entire rowShift + SpaceShift + SpaceSelects the entire row.

You can find more navigation shortcuts here.

Data Entry

Entering and manipulating data is a core part of your spreadsheet tasks.

Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
CopyCtrl + C⌘ + CCopies the selected cells.
PasteCtrl + V⌘ + VPastes copied content.
CutCtrl + X⌘ + XCuts the selected cells.
UndoCtrl + Z⌘ + ZUndoes the last action.
RedoCtrl + Y⌘ + Shift + ZRedoes the last undone action.
Delete cell contentDel⌘ + DeleteDeletes the content of the selected cell.
Fill DownCtrl + D⌘ + DCopies content of the first cell to all selected cells below.
Fill RightCtrl + R⌘ + RCopies content of the first cell to all selected cells right.


A well-formatted spreadsheet makes data easier to understand and interpret. Use these shortcuts for a cleaner and more polished look:

Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
BoldCtrl + B⌘ + BBolds the content of the selected cells.
ItalicCtrl + I⌘ + IItalicizes the content of the selected cells.
UnderlineCtrl + U⌘ + UUnderlines the content of the selected cells.
Strike ThroughCtrl + 5⌘ + Shift + XApplies strike-through to the content of selected cells.
Open Format Cells dialogCtrl + 1⌘ + 1Opens the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box.
Apply General formatCtrl + Shift + ~⌘ + Shift + ~Applies the General number format.
Apply Currency formatCtrl + Shift + $⌘ + Shift + $Applies the Currency format.
Apply Date formatCtrl + Shift + #⌘ + Shift + #Applies the Date format.

Intermediate Excel Shortcuts

In this section, we’ll explore intermediate shortcuts that can truly elevate your spreadsheet skills. We’ll cover Formula and Function Shortcuts, as well as Data Manipulation Shortcuts – all tailored for both Windows and Mac users.

Formula and Function Shortcuts

Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
Start a new formula==Starts a new formula.
Autocomplete a formulaTabReturnNo need to memorize formulas, type initial characters and press the shortcut
Insert functionShift + F3Fn + Shift + F3Opens the ‘Insert Function’ dialog box.
Autosum selected cellsAlt + =⌘ + Shift + TSums the selected cells.
Calculate worksheetsF9Fn + F9Calculates all worksheets in all open workbooks.
Toggle cell referencesF4⌘ + TCycles through relative, absolute and mixed references.

Data Manipulation Shortcuts

Shortcut NameWindows ShorcutMac ShortcutDescription
Windows ShortcutAlt + A, S, A⌘ + Shift + ASorts selected cells in ascending order.
Sort Z to AAlt + A, S, D⌘ + Shift + ZSorts selected cells in descending order.
FilterAlt + D, F, F⌘ + Shift + FApplies filter to the selected cells.
Remove duplicatesAlt + A, MCtrl + Shift + ROpens the ‘Remove Duplicates’ dialog box.

Advanced Excel Shortcuts

Ok, you’re now the go-to person at work for Excel queries. It’s time to step up the game to the most useful advanced Excel shortcuts.

We’ll cover shortcuts for formatting techniques, pivot tables, and charts, making it easy to navigate and manage data like a pro. I promise, your workday will never be the same!

Formatting Techniques

Shortcut NameWindows ShorcutMac ShorcutDescription
Insert rowAlt + I, R⌘ + Shift + =Menu to insert or shift new row
Insert columnAlt + I, C⌘ + Shift + =Menu to insert or shift new column
Delete rowCtrl + –⌘ + –Deletes a row
Apply border to cellsCtrl + Shift + &⌘ + Option + 0Applies border to selected cells.
Remove border from cellsCtrl + Shift + _⌘ + Option + _Removes border from selected cells.
Hide selected rowsCtrl + 9⌘ + 9Hides the selected rows.
Hide selected columnsCtrl + 0⌘ + 0Hides the selected columns.
Unhide rows in selected rangeCtrl + Shift + (⌘ + Shift + (Unhides any hidden rows within the selection.
Unhide columns in selected rangeCtrl + Shift + )⌘ + Shift + )Unhides any hidden columns within the selection.

Pivot Tables And Charts

As a powerful data visualization tool, pivot tables, and charts can be a game-changer. Get acquainted with these shortcuts:

Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
Open Pivot Table WizardAlt + D + P⌥ + D + POpens the Pivot Table Wizard
Select Entire Pivot TableCtrl + A⌘ + ASelects the entire Pivot Table
Group Pivot Table ItemsAlt + Shift + Right Arrow⌘ + Shift + Right ArrowGroups selected items in the Pivot Table
Ungroup Pivot Table ItemsAlt + Shift + Left Arrow⌘ + Shift + Left ArrowUngroups selected items in the Pivot Table
Create Pivot Chart on New WorksheetAlt + F1Fn + ⌥ + F1Creates a new Pivot Chart on a new worksheet
Shortcut NameWindows ShortcutMac ShortcutDescription
Create ChartAlt + F1Fn + ⌥ + F1Creates a new Chart with the selected data
Change Chart TypeAlt + F1, then Alt + JFn + ⌥ + F1, then ⌥ + JChanges the type of the selected Chart
Add Data LabelsCtrl + 1, then Alt + B + L⌘ + 1, then ⌥ + B + LAdds data labels to the selected Chart
Select DataAlt + E + S⌥ + E + SOpens the Select Data Source dialog box for the chart
Move ChartCtrl + X, then Ctrl + V⌘ + X, then ⌘ + VCuts and pastes the selected chart (moves the chart)
Resize ChartArrow Keys with ShiftArrow Keys with ShiftResizes the selected chart

By mastering these advanced Excel shortcuts, you’ll not only increase your efficiency but also gain a newfound appreciation for Excel’s capabilities. So, go on and put these shortcuts to work, and watch your skillset soar!

Customizing and Creating Your Own Shortcuts

You’ve been using Excel for a while now and you know how powerful it can be. But do you ever wish there were easier ways to access your most-used commands?

The good news is, Excel allows you to create your own custom keyboard shortcuts!

In this section, I’ll walk you through customizing Excel settings and creating shortcuts using macros.

Excel Options And Settings

First, you can customize Excel’s built-in shortcuts. This is done through Excel Options. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
  2. At the bottom, click on Customize.
  3. In the Save Changes in box, choose your current document or template.

By accessing the Customize Ribbon menu, you’ll find a list of commands with existing shortcuts. You can modify them to suit your needs, making your work in Excel more efficient.

Using Macros for Custom Shortcuts

Another way to create custom shortcuts is through Excel macros. Excel macros allow you to record a set of actions and assign them to a shortcut key combination.

Here’s how to create simple macros:

  1. Go to the View tab in Excel, and click on Macros.
  2. Choose the Record Macro option.
  3. Name your macro and assign it a shortcut key.
  4. Perform the actions you want the macro to capture.
  5. Click Stop Recording in the Macros menu.
Record macros screen

Congratulations! You’ve created a macro and assigned a custom shortcut to it. Now, you can use that shortcut to perform your specific actions again and again.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful! Remember to #WorkSmarterNotHarder!

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