Excel Shortcuts

23 Excel shortcut key combinations to common tools and features

Accountant working with graphs and modern touch screen computer

MillefloreImages/Getty Images

Learn the common Excel shortcut keys and take advantage of Excel to its full capacity. There are shortcuts that format text, apply number formats, move around a worksheet, and perform calculations.

Instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and Excel for Office 365. 

01
of 23

Insert a New Worksheet in Excel

Screenshot of using a shortcut key to add new sheets in Excel

When you want to insert a new worksheet into a workbook, use this keyboard shortcut:

Shift+F11

When you enter this shortcut, a new worksheet is inserted into the current workbook. To add additional worksheets, press and hold the Shift key, press F11, and release both keys.

02
of 23

Wrap Text on Two Lines in Excel

Screenshot of a manual text wrap in Excel

If the text in a cell runs beyond the border of the cell, wrap the text so that all the text is contained within the cell. In Excel, it's possible to set cells to wrap automatically, but there's no single hotkey that does that with one command.

To set the cell to automatically wrap, select the cell and press this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+1

This opens the Format Cells dialog box. Go to the Alignment tab, and select the Wrap text check box. The text automatically wraps inside the cell.

Another approach is to manually insert a line break in the cell text by selecting the cell you want to edit and pressing the F2 key. This changes the cell to Edit mode. Next, select the place in the text where you want the line break and press Alt+Enter. This moves the rest of the text down to the next line, and fits the entire text inside the cell.

03
of 23

Add the Current Date

Screenshot of using the Date keyboard shortcut in Excel

If you need to enter the date into any cell of your worksheet, there's a simple keyboard shortcut for that:

 Ctrl+; (Semicolon) 

This shortcut works whether you've clicked once on the cell, or double-clicked on the cell to enter Edit mode. The shortcut inserts the current date into the cell.

This keyboard shortcut does not make use of the TODAY function; the date does not change every time the worksheet is opened or recalculated.

04
of 23

Sum Data in Excel Using Shortcut Keys

Screenshot of using the SUM keyboard shortcut in Excel

When you want to sum data in rows as well as columns, use a keyboard shortcut to insert the Excel SUM function into your worksheet. The key combination to enter the SUM function is:

Alt+= (Equal Sign)

This shortcut sums all of the adjacent cells above the selected cell in the worksheet.

To use this keyboard shortcut in a worksheet:

  1. Select the cell under the series you want to sum to make it the active cell.
  2. Press and hold the Alt key on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the equal sign ( = ) on the keyboard.
  4. Release the Alt key.
  5. The SUM function displays in the summary cell with the range of cells above it highlighted as the SUM function's argument.
  6. Press the Enter key to complete the function.
  7. The answer appears in the summary cell.

If the SUM function is entered into a location other than adjacent to a row or column filled with numbers, the range of cells selected as the function's argument may be incorrect. To change the selected range, highlight the correct range before pressing the Enter key to complete the function.

The SUM is designed to be entered at the bottom of a column of data or at the right end of a row of data.

05
of 23

Add the Current Time

Screenshot of the time keyboard shortcut in Excel

Just like with the date shortcut, the current time can be added to a worksheet using a special keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut for adding the current time to a worksheet is:

 Ctrl+Shift+: (Colon) 

The time shortcut works whether the cell is selected or in Edit mode. The shortcut inserts the current time into the cell.

This keyboard shortcut does not make use of the NOW function; the time does not change every time the worksheet is opened or recalculated.

06
of 23

Insert a Hyperlink

Screenshot of the Insert Hyperlink keyboard shortcut

If you want to insert a hyperlink anywhere into your worksheet, the keyboard shortcut is:

Ctrl+K

To use this shortcut in a worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. In an Excel worksheet, select the cell where you want to insert the hyperlink to make it the active cell.
  2. Type a word to act as anchor text and press Enter.
  3. Select the cell again make it the active cell.
  4. Press the Ctrl and K keys on the keyboard to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  5. In the Address text box, type a full URL such as http://spreadsheets.lifewire.com.
  6. Select Ok to complete the hyperlink and close the dialog box.
  7. The anchor text in the cell is blue and underlined to indicate that it contains a hyperlink.
07
of 23

Show Formulas

Screenshot of the show formulas keyboard shortcut in Excel

When you want to review the formulas that are hidden behind cells or want to find cells that contain formulas, use this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+` (Grave Accent)
On most keyboards, the Grave Accent key is located to the left of the number 1 key on the top row of the keyboard and looks like a backwards apostrophe.

To check formulas in a worksheet for errors, highlight the entire worksheet and use this shortcut to display all of the formulas. Select a formula and Excel adds a color outline around the cell references used in the formula. This traces the data used in a formula.

08
of 23

Undo Typing and Mistakes in Excel

If you make a mistake while typing in a cell, typing a formula, applying a cell color, or formatting text, use the Undo feature in Excel and start over. The keyboard shortcut key combination to undo changes is:

Ctrl+Z

Undo deletes your actions in the reverse order that you applied them.

To undo your actions:

  1. Press the CTRL and Z keys at the same time.
  2. The last change you made in the worksheet is reversed.
  3. Press CTRL+Z again to undo the previous change you made.
  4. Press CTRL+Z until you've undone all the changes you don't want in the worksheet.
09
of 23

Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Screenshot of selecting non-adjacent cells in Excel

Select multiple cells in Excel when you want to delete data, apply formatting such as borders or shading, or apply other options to large areas of a worksheet all at one time.

When these cells are not located in a contiguous block, it's possible to select non-adjacent cells. This can be done using the keyboard and mouse together or using only the keyboard.

Use the Keyboard in Extended Mode

To select non-adjacent cells with just the keyboard, use the keyboard in Extended Selection mode. To activate Extended Selection mode, press the F8 key on the keyboard. To turn off Extended Selection mode, press the Shift and F8 keys together.

Select Single Non-Adjacent Cells in Excel Using the Keyboard
  1. Select the first cell.
  2. Press and release the F8 key on the keyboard to start Extended Selection mode.
  3. Without moving the cell cursor, press and release the Shift+F8 keys to turn off Extended Selection mode.
  4. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the next cell you want to highlight.
  5. Press F8.
  6. Press Shift+F8 to highlight the second cell.
  7. Move to the next cell you want to select.
  8. Press F8.
  9. Press Shift+F8.
  10. Continue selecting additional cells until all of the cells you want to highlight are selected.
Select Adjacent and Non-Adjacent Cells in Excel with the Keyboard

Follow the steps below if the range you wish to select contains a mixture of adjacent and individual cells as shown in the image above.

  1. Move the cell cursor to the first cell in the group of cells you want to highlight.
  2. Press and release the F8 key on the keyboard to start Extended Selection mode.
  3. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to extend the highlighted range to include all cells in the group.
  4. With all cells in the group selected, press and release the Shift+F8 keys on the keyboard together to turn off Extended Selection mode.
  5. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the cell cursor away from the selected group of cells.
  6. The first group of cells remains highlighted.
  7. If there are more grouped cells you wish to highlight, press F8, select the non-adjacent cells to highlight them, then press Shift+F8.
10
of 23

Go to Cells in an Excel Worksheet

Screenshot of using the Go To feature in Excel

Use the Go To feature in Excel to quickly navigate to different cells in a worksheet. Worksheets that contain a few columns and rows are easy to see on the screen, larger worksheets aren't so easy.

To jump from one area of a worksheet to another, follow these steps:

  1. Press the F5 key on the keyboard to open the Go To dialog box.
  2. In the Reference text box, type the cell reference of the desired destination.
  3. Select OK or press Enter.
  4. The black box that surrounds the active cell jumps to the cell you referenced.
11
of 23

Duplicate Data with the Fill Down Command

Screenshot of using the auto-fill keyboard shortcut in Excel

If you need to input the same data such as text or numbers into a number of adjacent cells in a column, use the Fill Down command.

Apply the Fill Down command in an Excel spreadsheet using this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+D

Here's how to use the Fill Down keyboard shortcut:

  1. Type a number into a cell.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard.
  3. Press and hold the Down Arrow key to extend the selection highlight in any direction.
  4. Release both keys.
  5. Press the CTRL and D keys on the keyboard at the same time.
  6. The highlighted cells are filled with the same data as the original cell.
12
of 23

Apply Italics Formatting

Screenshot of using the italics shortcut in Excel

Apply italics formatting to any cell in Excel using this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+I 

To remove italics formatting from any cell, use this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+3

This formatting can be applied to a single cell, or to multiple selected cells at once.

13
of 23

Apply Number Formatting

Screenshot of applying number formatting in Excel

Several keyboard shortcuts apply formatting changes to numbers in a worksheet.

To apply the General number format, select the cell and press:

Ctrl+Shift+~ (Tilde)

To apply the Number format that adds two decimal places and the thousands separator to a number, select the cell and press:

Ctrl+Shift+! (Exclamation Point)
14
of 23

Apply Currency Formatting

Screenshot of applying currency formatting in Excel

If you want the Dollar sign ($) applied to a currency value in a worksheet, use the Currency format.

To apply the Currency format to data, select the cell and press:

Ctrl+Shift+$ (Dollar Sign)

The Currency format adds the Dollar Sign in front of the numbers, uses the thousands separator, and add two decimal places after the number.

15
of 23

Apply Percent Formatting

Screenshot of applying percentage formatting in Excel

To apply the Percentage format with no decimal places, select the cell and press:

Ctrl+Shift+% (Percent sign)

When you select a cell and apply this shortcut, it multiplies the value in the cell by 100 and adds a Percent Symbol (%) after the number.

Before you apply the Percentage format, make sure the data in the cell is in Number format with two decimal places. The Percentage format shifts the decimal place two digits to the right and turns the value into a whole number percentage.

16
of 23

Select All Cells in an Excel Data Table

Screenshot of the select all keyboard shortcut in Excel

If you want to select every single cell in an Excel worksheet, use this keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl+A

This selects the entire sheet, and common formatting can be applied to every cell at one time. This ensures that data is formatted uniformly across an entire sheet, either before or after you enter data.

17
of 23

Select an Entire Row in Excel Using Shortcut Keys

Screenshot of the select row keyboard shortcut in Excel

The key combination to select a row is:

Shift+Spacebar

Before using this shortcut key, select a cell in the row you want to highlight (it doesn't have to be the leftmost cell). After you use the shortcut, the row that contains the active cell is highlighted.

Use this shortcut when you want to apply common formatting to one row in a worksheet, such as the header row.

18
of 23

Save in Excel

Screenshot of using the Save As shortcut in Excel

At any point while you're working on a worksheet, use this shortcut key combination to save data:

Ctrl+S

If this is the first time the worksheet is being saved, the Save As dialog box opens. When a file is saved for the first time two pieces of information must be specified in the Save As dialog box:

  • The name of the file (up to 255 characters including spaces).
  • The location (folder) where the file will be stored.

After the file is saved using the Save As dialog box, it takes a few seconds to save your file as you work by using this shortcut. If the worksheet has been saved previously, the mouse pointer changes to an hourglass icon and then back to the normal white plus sign.

19
of 23

Format the Date

Formatting the Date

Convert number dates in a worksheet to a format that includes the day, month, year. For example, to change 2/2/19 to 2-Feb-19.

To convert numbers to a date, use this shortcut:

Ctrl+Shift+# (Pound Sign)

To use this shortcut, select a cell that has a date in it and apply the shortcut. This keyboard shortcut ensures that date formatting in a worksheet is common across the entire sheet.

20
of 23

Format the Current Time

Screenshot of using the time format shortcut in Excel

Similar to the date format shortcut, there is also an Excel keyboard shortcut available to format any cell containing time data into hour, minute, and AM/PM format. For example, to convert 11:15 to 11:15 AM.

To use the Time format, press:

Ctrl+Shift+2

Use the Time format shortcut on a single cell or on multiple cells and keep all date formats the same across your entire worksheet.

21
of 23

Switch Between Worksheets

Screenshot of using the switch sheets keyboard shortcut in Excel

As an alternative to using the mouse, use a keyboard shortcut to switch between worksheets in Excel.

To shift to the next sheet on the right, press:

Ctrl+PgDn

To shift to the next sheet on the left, press:

Ctrl+PgUp

To select multiple worksheets using the keyboard, press: Ctrl+Shift+PgUp to select pages to the left, or Ctrl+Shift+PgDn to select pages to the right.

22
of 23

Edit Cells with the F2 Function Key

Screenshot of using the edit shortcut in Excel

Edit the contents of a cell by using this shortcut:

F2

This shortcut does the same thing as double-clicking a cell to edit the contents.

23
of 23

Add Borders

Screenshot of using the border shortcut in Excel

When you want to add a border to selected cells in an Excel worksheet, press:

 Ctrl+Shift+7 

Apply a border to a single cell, or any group of cells, depending which cells you select before applying the shortcut.