Microsoft Excel Shortcuts

Make life simpler with these short cut keys in Microsoft Excel. Save Time & Increase Productivity!

Ever since I wrote about how to view all the formulas in Excel using a single click, I have been requested for more such Excel Shortcuts that save time. So here goes… There are some absolute gems that have been my favorite for years!

Shortcuts that work inside Excel Worksheets

  • Ctrl + F: Display the Find & Replace Dialog box, with Find selected
  • Shift + F4: Repeat Last Find
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo last action. Works for multiple levels
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo last action.
  •  F11: Create and Insert a Chart based on the selected data. Chart is added in a separate sheet.
  • Alt + F1: Creates a inserts a chart based on the currently selected data as an embedded chart object.
  • Ctrl + K: Insert a Hyperlink in a cell

Format Cells

  • Ctrl + 1: Format Cells Dialog box
  • Ctrl + 2: Apply or remove Bold formatting. Also works as Ctrl + B
  • Ctrl + 3: Apply Italic formatting to selected text
  • Ctrl + 4: Underline or remove the underline from the selected data. Also works as Ctrl + U

Apply Number Formatting

  • Ctrl + Shift + $: Apply Currency format with 2 decimal points
  • Ctrl + Shift + ~: Apply the General number format
  • Ctrl + Shift + %: Apply the Percentage format with no decimal places at all.
  • Ctrl + Shift + #: Apply the date format with full day, month and year showing.
  • Ctrl + Shift + @: Apply the time format with hours, minutes, AM or PM showing.
  • Ctrl + Shift + !: Apply the number format with two decimal places, a comma separator for the thousands place, and a minus sign for negative numbers.

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 Shortcuts for Formulas

  • Alt + =: Auto sum formula is inserted
  • Shift + F3: Insert Function dialog box is opened
  • F4: Cycle through the four states of Relative referencing (A1) to Absolute referencing ($A$1)
  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter: Enter an Array Formula
  • F9: Calculates all the worksheets in all open workbooks
  • Ctrl + `: Shows all formulas. Toggle switch that shows and hides the formulas. If you can’t find the key, you can locate it just above the left Tab key. My favorite shortcut.
  • F2: Edit the formula or selection in any cell
  • F3: Paste a defined name into a formula. Using Range Names.
  • Ctrl + F3: Define a range name for a single cell or a range of cells.

Managing Workbooks

  • Ctrl + F4: Close the currently selected workbook window.
  • Ctrl + N: Open a New and blank workbook in Excel
  • Ctrl + Tab: Move to the Next Worksheet within the workbook.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move to the Previous worksheet within the same workbook
  • Ctrl + F9: Minimize the current workbook
  • Ctrl + F10: Restore the selected workbook into a full window
  • F12: Save As diaglog box to save the workbook
  • F7: Do a Spell check in Excel
  • F1: Ask for Help ( internal Excel in built help pops up)
  • Shift + F7: Display the Thesaurus
  • Alt + F8: Displays the macro dialog box
  • Alt + F11: Pops up the Visual Basic Editor for editing the macros.

Hopefully these macros will help you save time and improve your productivity.

If you have any other shortcut which you find useful, do send me a note. I would love to hear from you. You can send it to

Vinai Prakash

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I teaches Excel, Advanced Excel techniques, and Dashboarding techniques in various countries. If you have a group of 10 or more participants,  I can come down to do a workshop for your group in your country – Vinai