Most finance and accounting professionals use Microsoft Excel on a daily basis. While Excel is a great spreadsheet tool at even the most basic level, users can become even more effective and efficient by learning to use keyboard shortcuts. A shortcut is a combination of keys that allows you to accomplish actions without the use of the mouse. When your fingers don’t need to leave the keyboard, you can accomplish the same action more quickly and ultimately shave time off your project.
For novice Excel users, one way to experiment with the available shortcuts is to press the Alt key. This will cause key tips to appear next to main tabs on the “ribbon” – the section above the spreadsheet with various commands. With the key tips it’s possible to apply any command or action on the ribbon using only the keyboard, without the mouse.
For example, you can explore the page layout tab by hitting P. It immediately takes you to the page layout section, and from there you can get into any page layout function by following the letter prompts. If you have gone into a section and want to back up, press the Esc key and it will take you back to the last place you were.
The most commonly used key combinations with their descriptions are:
Shift+ Enter completes a cell entry and moves you to the cell above
Shift+Space Bar selects entire row
Alt+Enter when in an active cell, a new line is added
Alt+ Page Down moves one screen to the right in a worksheet
Alt, W, P changes the worksheet to page layout view
Alt, W, L changes the worksheet to normal view
Ctrl+Home takes you to the first cell in a worksheet (A1 in upper left corner)
Ctrl+Page Down takes you to the next worksheet
Ctrl+Space Bar selects entire column
Ctrl+; (semi-colon) inserts current date
Ctrl+Shift+: inserts current time
Ctrl+- (hyphen) opens Delete menu, allows you to delete cells, rows or columns
Ctrl+Shift++ (plus) opens Insert menu, allows you to insert cells, rows or columns
Ctrl+K insert a hyperlink
Ctrl+9 hides the selected row
Ctrl+Shift+9 unhides the hidden row
Ctrl+Shift+F opens the Cell Format/Font menu
Ctrl+b changes bold font status of a cell (bold/unbold)
F7 spelling check
F11 inserts a chart using selected dat
This is just a short list of commonly used Excel shortcuts. There are many more that are helpful in everyday Excel use. I have included a few links to some very helpful sites that provide a more comprehensive list of available shortcuts.
http://www.exceluser.com/biz/shortcuts1.htm (This site allows you to download a workbook with over 250 useful Excel shortcuts)