Excel QuickBytes# 1: Keyboard Shortcuts a data analyst should use

QuickBytes is a series of articles for simple and easy to implement techniques with exponential benefits


Easily one of the frequently asked questions during the training programs I have done in the past few years. Participants are interested in getting the list of all the keyboard shortcuts available in Excel.


While there are numerous articles and pdfs available on the internet, and I had myself saved a bunch of them in a hope to refer to it in the future, but that day never came.


There was a time when I hardly used a mouse while working with Excel, but then the keyboards were different.


With laptops, some of the keyboard shortcuts become redundant, but following remained still relevant and useful

Change Format

  • CTRL+SHIFT+1 - Format the selection into the decimal format, with 2 decimal places

  • CTRL+SHIFT+2 - Format the selection into time format

  • CTRL+SHIFT+3 - Format the selection into date format

  • CTRL+SHIFT+4 - Format the selection into (system) default currency format

  • CTRL+SHIFT+5 - Format the selection into percentage format

Navigation & Selection

  • CTRL + PageUp/PageDown – Navigating between sheets

  • CTRL+ Space bar – Select the current column(s)

  • SHIFT + Space bar – Select the current row(s)

  • CTRL + Navigation Keys – Move in the immediate range. Add Shift to enable selection

  • CTRL + G : Go to special

  • F4 : Repeat the previous action

Data Editing Tools

  • CTRL+1 – Format cell/selection/chart/object

  • CTRL+D – Copy and paste the content from the cell above

  • CTRL+R – Copy and paste the content from the left cell

  • CTRL+ALT+V - Paste Special option

  • F7: Spell check

  • ALT+Enter: Start a new line in the same cell

Adding tools & features

  • CTRL+SHIFT+L – Apply/Remove filters

  • ALT + Down arrow keys – Expand filter option

  • ALT, A, M – Remove duplicates

  • ALT, D, P, F – Insert the pivot

  • ALT, F, C – Close the current workbook

  • ALT, D, E - Text to Columns

  • SHIFT+F11 - Add a sheet


Editing Formula

  • F2: Toggle the cell edit mode

  • CTRL + F3 : Name Manager

  • F3: List of all the defined ranges

  • F4 (cell edit mode): Toggle for applying an absolute range


Note: “+” signifies all keys hold down together, whereas “,” means use the keys in the sequence (without holding all of them together)

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