Although the computer mouse is an essential tool in desktop navigation, Excel power users rarely use it to interact with their workbooks. This gives them an edge to do everything far more rapidly, as there is a shortcut pretty much every action in Excel. You might be thinking, ‘but there’s millions of features in Excel’. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Don’t let this intimidate you, because we’ve compiled a list of 10 most useful Excel shortcuts to help you cover the basics and be more productive.
Repeat the last command or action
- F4 (PC)
- Command + Y (Mac)
Repeats the last command or workbook action, where applicable.
Select any cell and press the F4 key after an action, like setting a background color or pasting a cell.
Expand the selection to the last non-empty cell
- Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Key (PC)
- Command + Shift + Arrow Key (Mac)
Expands your current cell selection to the last non-empty cell.
To select all cells with a value in it from a range (i.e. a table), select the cell in the first column, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow Key.
You can also use this shortcut when a range, a column, or a row is selected. For example, if you want to delete rows after 50th, select row 51, and the press Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow to select these cells. Then, press Ctrl + - to delete those rows.
Select the current region
- Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar (PC)
- Command + Shift + Spacebar (Mac)
If the worksheet contains data,
- Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar selects the current region.
- Pressing Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar a second time selects the current region, its column header, and the summary cells (if applicable).
- Pressing Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar a third time selects the entire worksheet.
Selecting headings and summary rows only work with Excel Tables. The headers and summary rows in Excel Tables work differently than regular cells.
Fill Multiple Cells
- Ctrl + Enter (PC)
- Cmd + Enter (Mac)
Fill multiple cells with a formula or static value.
Begin by selecting the cells that you want to insert or modify formulas into. Then, type in your formula and press Ctrl+Enter to apply it to all selected cells. Note that if you use the “$” character to lock any rows or columns, Excel will keep those references as is. Otherwise, Excel will match the references in a ‘logical’ way to match every cell row or column index.
When a single cell is selected, this shortcut can also be used to keep your selection instead of moving the selection to the next cell below.
AutoFit Column Width
- Alt, H, O, I (PC)
Adjusts the column width to automatically fit the contents.
Press and release each key in order, you don’t need to hold any of them while pressing another (First Alt, then H, then O, and then I). This shortcut is not available for the Mac version of Excel 2016.
Open Drop-down Menu
- Alt + Down Arrow (PC & Mac)
- Opens data validation lists (drop-down) if the cell has data validation applied.
- Creates a drop-down list type of items from a column, IF the cell does NOT contain data validation and there is data in the same column.
- Opens the filter drop-down menu IF the Filter feature is applied in a range or table.
This shortcut also works on some web browsers and other applications.
- F5 (PC & Mac)
- Ctrl + G (PC)
Opens the Go To window. Double click any name or reference on this list to select that range.
You can open the Go To Special window by pressing the Special button. This can be useful to locate objects, formulas, validations, or other workbook elements.
- F3 (PC & Mac)
Opens the Paste Name window. Double click a name to insert it into formula.
You can also do this from the Insert ribbon (Insert > Name > Paste). This shortcut is not available for the Mac version of Excel 2016.
- Ctrl + Arrow Keys
- Command + Arrow Keys
Quick navigation between data end points. Using the shortcut will move the active selection to the last cell in the direction of the Arrow Key used.
This can be very useful when working with a large data set. Please note that Excel will actually look for an empty cell and the navigation can stop at an empty cell, instead of the end point.
You might be already familiar with these shortcuts as they are commonly adopted by most software applications.
- Ctrl + S (PC)
- Command + S (Mac)
- Ctrl + N (PC)
- Command + N (Mac)
- Ctrl + W (PC)
- Command + W (Mac)
- Ctrl + P (PC)
- Command + P (Mac)
- Ctrl + A (PC)
- Command + A (Mac)
Cut, copy, paste
- Ctrl + X, Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V (PC)
- Command + X, Command + C, Command + V (Mac)
Selecting with Shift and Ctrl (Command)
- Holding the Shift Key and clicking to another point will select the entire range between the two cells.
- Holding the Ctrl (Command) Key will allow you to select multiple cells one-by-one.
Home, End, Page Up, Page Down
- Home Key moves you to the left most cell, Ctrl + Home moves you to the Top-Left (A1 by default) cell.
- End Key moves you to right most cell, Ctrl + End moves you to Bottom-Right cell.
- Page Up and Page Down keys scroll the worksheet up and down.
Undo and Redo
- Ctrl + Z, Ctrl + Y (Redo action is different than the universal Shift + Ctrl + Z in MS Office products) (PC)
- Command + Z, Command + Y (Redo action is different than the universal Shift + Command + Z in MS Office products) (Mac)
Find, Find and replace
Ctrl + F (Command + F in MAC) will bring up the Find menu, where you can look up values from your workbook. Ctrl + H (Command + H in MAC) will bring up the Find and Replace menu, where you can look up values and replace them with a different value. (PC)