Excel Shortcut Guide: Spreadsheets Made Easy

Excel Shortcut Guide
Excel Shortcut Guide

Over 750 million people use Excel. Chances are, you’re one of them. And since you clicked on this article, you probably know that there are easier and quicker ways to create spreadsheets with Excel. You just don’t know them yet.

Whether you’re a professional programmer, accountant, or just planning your spending budget, everyone can learn a few tips and tricks to make Excel a breeze to work with.

So, what shortcuts can you use in Excel?

There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts in Excel that will save you time and make created spreadsheets easier. Read on in this Excel shortcut guide to learn some of the most Excel secrets.

Basic Excel Shortcuts You Need To Know

Before we move any further, let’s get started with the basics:

  • Copy: CTRL+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac)
    • Highlight the text or cell(s) you would like to copy 
    • Hold the Control key and C together
  • Cut: CTRL+X (Windows) or Command+C (Mac)
    • Highlight the text or cell(s) and hold down the control key and X
    • The text will disappear and be “cut” to your clipboard
  • Paste: CTRL+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac)
    • To paste the text you just copied or cut, click where you would like to insert the cell(s) or text
    • Hold down the control key and V
  • Opening and Saving
    • To open a workbook, hold down CTRL+O
    • To quickly save your work just hold down CTRL+S

Alright! Now you’re ready to learn some quick ways to navigate your Excel Spreadsheet.

Selecting and Navigating Your Excel Spreadsheet

There plenty of keyboard shortcuts to use when selecting cells and working through an Excel Sheet.

  • Pressing CTRL+Space+Shift will select your entire worksheet
  • To select an entire column, click anywhere in the column and press CTRL+Space
  • To select an entire row, click the first cell in the row and press CTRL+Shift+Right Arrow
  • The Enter Key will move your cursor down to the cell below
  • The Tab Key will move your cursor sideways to the cell to the right

Knowing these navigating shortcuts is great, but what will really put your Excel skills over the edge is knowing how to easily inset basic formulas.

Basic Formula Shortcuts and How To Insert Them (Easily) 

To insert a formula, click the cell where you would like the formula and go into the formula bar. Type =, followed by a formula. Here are some basic formulas to get you started:

Basic Formulas:

  • =SUM followed by (cell 1, cell 2) or (number 1, number 2) will add up the cells and numbers
  • =(number 1*number 2) will find the sum of both cells multiplied
  • =Average(number1:number2) will calculate the average of the range

To applying a formula to an entire column, select the desired column and press CTRL+Enter. For a more extensive list of Excel Formulas, click here.

Now that you know how to insert a few formulas, let’s move on to some other Excel tips and tricks.

Other Helpful Excel Shortcuts You Should Know

Try out the next few keyboard shortcuts the next time you are working in Excel:

  • To insert the current time, press CTRL+Shift+* (Windows) or Command+; (Mac) 
  • To quickly apply a border to cells, select where you would like the border and press CTRL+Shift+& 
  • To make the text bold, select the text and press CTRL+B (Windows) or Command+B (Mac)

Feeling confident with these shortcuts? Then you’re ready to start learning about different exporting formats (.xml, .json, .csv, etc) and their purposes. It may feel overwhelming at first, but resources like IronSoftware have great guides on programing and exporting; they even layout processes like c# export to Excel along with other exporting methods.

You’re on Your Way to Becoming an Expert

Yes, there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts to memorize. Soon enough, these Excel shortcuts will be second nature and you’ll be able to create beautiful spreadsheets in Excel in record time. 

Want to learn more tech tips and tricks? Check out the other posts in the technology category!