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Keyboard Shortcuts for Cell Contents

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorial
Excel 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts

* Shortcuts to Undo and Redo
* Shortcuts to Cut, Copy, Paste and Edit Cell Contents
* Shortcuts to Insert Comments and Hyperlinks
* Shortcuts to Insert Dates and Times
* Shortcuts to Display Cell Value or Formula

Part of working smarter and not harder in Excel means becoming a pro at using keyboard shortcuts to cut, copy, paste, and format the contents of the cells.

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



* Shortcuts to Undo and Redo

The ability to undo mistakes, unintentional formatting or data entries and edits, is extremely useful. The redo function acts as a further insurance policy against the undo function and allows you to reinstate actions that you reversed using the undo function.

The undo and redo shortcut combinations allow you to undo and redo actions without lifting your fingers from the keyboard.

1. To undo your last action, press Ctrl+z. Pressing Ctrl+z repeatedly will undo the last series of actions that you have performed.

2. To redo any actions that you used undo on, press Ctrl+y. You can also use Ctrl+y to repeat certain actions. For example if you bold a word in a cell and select another cell and press Ctrl+y, the bold action will be repeated.

* Shortcuts to Cut, Copy, Paste and Edit Cell Contents

When you work with large amounts of data, knowing how to cut, copy and paste contents from one section into another may save you a lot of time. It will also ensure your data is consistent as you did not have to re-enter the information. Some cells may contain a lot of information in the form of multiple paragraphs of text where you may only wish to copy, edit or format a section of the text. Some cells contain so much data that you may want to format these by inserting a 'paragraph' break in the cell.

Shortcut key combinations make performing all of the above actions quick and easy.

1. Cut, copy and paste are the three musketeers of data entry. First you need to select the cell(s), row(s) and/or column(s) you wish to copy.

2. Once you have made your selection, press Ctrl+c to copy the selection to the Office Clipboard or Ctrl+x to cut the selection.

3. Position your cursor in the top left most cell of the selection where you wish to paste the copied or cut cells and press Ctrl+v to paste the cells. Excel will automatically paste the contents over the correct number of cells, you need not select the cells.

Caution: When selecting cells to copy or cut and paste, the original selection will remain selected until you paste (see screenshot of selected cells below). The dotted lines around the selection alerts you to the fact that the cells are currently selected. If you perform a separate action after copying or cutting and before pasting, the selection will automatically be unselected. To exit a selection without pasting, press the Escape key on your keyboard.

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts to Cut, Copy, Paste and Edit Cell Contents

 

4. To quickly copy cells surrounding a selected cell, use Ctrl+d or Ctrl+" to copy the cell above and Ctrl+r to copy the cell on the left of the selected cell.

5. To copy the formula contained in the cell above your selected cell, press Ctrl+'.

When reviewing a worksheet using the arrow keys to scroll through cells, you may wish to quickly edit the contents of specific cells.

1. If you press F2 on your keyboard you will be able to edit the contents of the selected cell. This may save you time having to use your mouse to select and enter any cell you wish to edit.

2. After pressing F2 the cursor will automatically move to the end of the contents in the cell allowing you to add text or numbers at the end of the current data in the cell.

3. Use your directional arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through the contents of the cell.

4. Press the Escape or Enter keys on your keyboard to exit the selection.

Study the cell circled in yellow in the screenshot below. This cell contains a lot of text and it may look neater if the text is separated by a paragraph. However, in Excel if you press the Enter key, which inserts a paragraph break in word processing programs, it exits the cell and takes you to the next cell.

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts to Cut, Copy, Paste and Edit Cell Contents

 

1. To insert a paragraph break or line break in a cell, first select the cell by pressing F2.

2. Using the directional arrow keys or your mouse, position your cursor where you need the line or paragraph break to appear.

3. Press Alt+Enter to insert the break.

For all the neat-freaks out there, you have to agree the data in this cell now looks much tidier than the example above:

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts to Cut, Copy, Paste and Edit Cell Contents

 

* Shortcuts to Insert Comments and Hyperlinks

Comments and hyperlinks are really simple elements you can add to cells that can make your worksheet more user-friendly. It will also impress other people no end and could even land you a promotion (if only!).

You use comments to add feedback to a worksheet someone else created when reviewing the data. You can also use comments to explain the contents of specific cell or to inform users of the worksheet what kind of data they should be entering in a specific cell, row or column.

1. To insert a comment, first select the cell you wish to comment on.

2. Press Shift+F2 and type your comment into the comment box (see screenshot below):
Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts to Insert Comments and Hyperlinks

3. If you press Shift+F2 after selecting a cell that already contains a comment, you will be able to edit the comment.

Hyperlinks allow you to insert links to data that is contained elsewhere, for example a document or a worksheet in a shared location or a webpage. When users click on the link it will take them to where the content is located or even launch the webpage, email or document, etc.

1. To insert a hyperlink into a cell, first select the cell.

2. Press Ctrl+k on your keyboard. This will launch the Insert Hyperlink dialogue box (see screenshot below):
Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Shortcuts to Insert Comments and Hyperlinks

 

3. Use the dialogue box to select an existing file or webpage or even a place in the current worksheet, to insert a link to.

4. You can specify a name for the link by typing a name into the Text To Display box located at the top of the dialogue box.


* Shortcuts to Insert Dates and Times

In a recent study conducted on university students between the ages of 18 and 22, it was found that 98% of them were not sure what the current date was and 100% did not know what the time was without consulting an electronic device. Excel takes the guess work out of dates and times and leaves you with one less thing to wonder about. By allowing automatic current date and time entry, Excel saves you time when entering data and it is an excellent tool for creating a timesheet.

1. To insert the current date in a cell, press Ctrl+; (semicolon).

2. To insert the current time in a cell, press Ctrl+Shift+; (semicolon).

Remember to format the date or time entries using the Time and Date number formats to ensure they display correctly.

* Shortcuts to Display Cell Values or Formulas

It may be difficult interpreting the data in a worksheet someone else has created or even a worksheet you created, especially with regard to formulas. Excel has a Show Formula and Hide Formula button function that allows you to display and print all formulas contained in a worksheet and then hide them again, displaying only their values.

1. To display all the formulas contained in a worksheet, press Ctrl+` (accent grave next to the number 1 on your keyboard).

2. To display values instead of formulas in a worksheet, press Ctrl+` (accent grave next to the number 1 on your keyboard again.

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