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Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Worksheets Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Excel Training
Excel 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts

* Shortcuts for Moving Around Cells
* Shortcuts for Moving to the Beginning and End of Data
* Shortcuts for Selecting Rows and Columns
* Shortcuts for The Go To Dialogue Box
* Shortcuts to Undo and Redo




Part of working smarter and not harder in Excel means becoming a pro at using keyboard shortcuts to move and make selections in the worksheet.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Worksheets Test


* Keyboard Shortcuts for Moving Around Cells

One of the first problems when using Excel most people face, is "how do I move around". It is important to understand that Excel is a grid containing cells that are separated from one another. Each cell is an individual entity but cells work together to make up a worksheet. A worksheet may be likened to a beehive which consists of cells that contain different elements but collectively make up the hive.

1. To navigate around cells in a worksheet is really simple. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move up, down, left or right.

Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts For Worksheets - Moving Around Cells

2. The cell with the black border around it in the screenshot above, indicates the currently selected cell.

3. The orange highlighted number 10 on the left-hand side of the screenshot and the orange highlighted G at the top of the screenshot indicate the row and column in which the selected cell is positioned.

4. Holding down the right, left, up or down pointing arrow will allow you to move through multiple cells.

5. When entering data in a cell, use the Tab key to move to the next cell on the right. To move "backwards" or one cell to the left of the selected cell, press Shift+Tab. Using these shortcut keys allow for efficient data entry as you do not need to take your hands off the keyboard.


* Shortcuts for Moving to the Beginning and End of Your Data

A worksheet can contain hundreds and even thousands of rows and columns of data. Imagine using your arrow keys to move up, down, left and right through that many cells! You may want to quickly go to the beginning of your data (the first entry) and back down to the last entry to add more data.

1. To move to the beginning of the row in which you are currently positioned, press the Home key on your keyboard. The Home key is usually located on the top right-hand side of a standard keyboard. You can also hold down the Ctrl key and press the left arrow on your keyboard to go to the beginning of a row.

2. To move to the end of the row in which you are currently positioned, hold down the Ctrl key and press the right arrow on your keyboard to go to the end of a row.

3. When viewing a worksheet you are restricted to the size of your screen. To move a screen size upwards or downwards through a worksheet, use the Page Up and Page Down keys located on the top right-hand side of a standard keyboard. You use the Page Up key to move a screen size towards the top of your worksheet and Page Down to move a screen size down towards the bottom of your worksheet.

4. Possibly the hippest shortcuts for moving around a worksheet are the Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End combinations. These allow you to move to the beginning and end of the data contained in a worksheet respectively. Use Ctrl+End to quickly move your selection to the last cell in your data and Ctrl+Home to move back to the first cell in your data section.

* Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Rows and Columns

You are probably familiar with using your mouse to select rows and columns or entire sections of data in your worksheet. Shortcut keys allow you to do this quickly and seamlessly without the need to take your hands off the keyboard in order to do this.

1. To quickly select the entire row in which your cursor is positioned, press Shift+Space.

2. To quickly select the entire column in which your cursor is positioned, press Ctrl+Space.

3. Select All, also known as the "Power drunk shortcut" can be used if you wish to apply formatting to the entire worksheet, for example to change the font or some other element. To do this press Ctrl+a to select all the cells in the worksheet.

Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts For Worksheets - Selecting Rows and Columns

4. You can tell cells or the entire sheet (as in the screenshot above) is selected as the selected area or section will be shaded in blue.

5. My favorite selection shortcut is using Ctrl+Shift+the right, left, up or down pointing directional arrows to select the populated area of a row. If you press the directional arrow twice it will select cells to the end of the worksheet (starting from your selected cell). This is really useful for hiding blank columns or rows for a more professional-looking worksheet.

6. You can also use Ctr+Shift+End and Ctrl+Shift+Home to select the entire populated area of a worksheet.

* Keyboard Shortcuts for the Go To Dialogue Box

On a recent trip through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on route to Venice, Italy, I found myself late for my next flight and jogging up and down for miles desperately seeking a specific check-in desk. I studied the airport maps and dragged myself and my oversized luggage in every direction imaginable without finding the elusive check-in desk noted on my boarding pass. I finally stumbled upon an airport information desk and was promptly sent in the correct direction. Now the Go To dialogue box in Excel functions in very much the same way as an information desk at a busy airport. It allows you to quickly specify specific elements you are looking for and go directly to that element saving you from searching up and down through rows and rows of data in a worksheet.

1. To quickly launch the Go To Dialogue Box (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) press Ctrl+g on your keyboard. You can also press F5 to launch this dialogue box.

2. Use the References Box to type in a cell reference (for example B25).

3. Click on the Special Button to access a collection of special elements you may wish to navigate to quickly, for example comments, formulas and blank cells. 

Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts For Worksheets - The Go To Dialogue Box

* Keyboard Shortcuts to Undo and Redo

Whilst entering data into a worksheet, you may change your mind and need to undo an action or an entry and could even change your mind about changing your mind, and then need to redo an action or an entry. Excel shortcuts make this easy for us.

1. Press Ctrl+z to undo your last action. Pressing it repeatedly will undo a number of your last actions.

2. If you accidently undo an action or an entry unintentionally, use the shortcut combination Ctrl+y to reinstate the action.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Worksheets Test