Mastering Excel – Shortcuts That Will Save You Time

by - 15 June 2020

Almost all of us use Excel in one form or another and there are countless shortcuts and hacks to make your Excel experience more efficient.

We have compiled the top 20 Windows Excel shortcuts that you need to know:

CTRL + D: Duplicate Cell

My personal favourite. Pressing ctrl + D will duplicate the above cell, saves time with formatting, it will also copy any formula listed within the above cell. 

ALT + ENTER: Start a New Line in The Same Cell 

My second favourite! Writing a lot of text in one cell? Use this short cut to start a new line within the same cell. 

ALT + =: Insert Total Sum

Have a block of data you need the total calculated for? By highlighting the block and and pressing ALT and = at the same time you will get the SUM. Just make sure you have a spare column on the right and at the bottom for your summarised data. 

CTRL + Spacebar: Select The Entire Column

Rather than using your mouse to click the column header, use this Excel shortcut to automatically select the entire column you’re working in.

Shift + Spacebar: Select the entire row

In the same fashion as the above shortcut, instead of clicking the header for a row, you can use this Excel shortcut to select the entire row.

CTRL + : : Insert Current Time 

Use this shortcut to insert the time in the selected cell.

CTRL + ;: Insert Current Date 

Use this shortcut to insert today’s date in the selected cell.

CTRL + Shift + #: Change Date Format 

Once you have inserted the current date, use this shortcut to change the format. 

CTRL + Shift + $: Apply Currency Format

Use this to format the selected cell as a currency.

CTRL + Shift + $: Change Currency Format

Another formatting shortcut (so handy!), use this one to change the format of currency within the selected cell. 

CTRL + Shift + %: Apply Percentage Format

Use this to format the selected cell as a percentage. 

CTRL + Shift + &: Apply border to selected cell/s

Rather than using your mouse to navigate through the menu bar, use this Excel shortcut to apply a border to the current selected cell or cells.

CTRL + H: Find and Replace

Use this Excel shortcut to replace a word or symbol or sentence that appears in your workbook. This is especially useful if you are replacing something that appears multiple times throughout a spreadsheet, including incorrectly capitilised words!

CTRL + Enter: Enter The Same Data in Multiple Cells

This shortcut helps you enter the same data in multiple cells very quickly! 

CTRL + 9: Hide The Selected Row/s

Need to hide a row from your workbook? This shortcut will do the job for you.

CTRL + 0: Hide The Selected Column/s

In the same fashion as hiding rows, use this shortcut to hide the selected column/s.

ALT + H + H: Select a Fill Colour

Need to fill the selected cell/s with a colour? Use this shortcut to access the colour fill menu. 

ALT + 7: Add Bullet Points Within a Cell

Did you know you can make a bullet point list within a cell? Use this Excel shortcut to get started. 

Text to Columns

Ok this one isn’t a keyboard shortcut however, it will save you a lot of time! If you have a list of data that needs to be split into multiple cells, this tool is your friend! For example, you have a list of first and last names and need to split first name and last name into two columns. Here’s how you can automate it:

  1. Select the whole column with the data 
  2. Navigate to the ‘Data’ tab 
  3. Select ‘Text to Columns’
  4. Choose ‘delimited’ or ‘fixed width’ (delimited is easiest if you have a space between first and last names)
  5. Choose where Excel splits the column, be it by space, comma, or another character 
  6. Hit next then finish!
Excel text to columns

There are countless shortcuts available in Excel, but these are our favourites. We suggest printing this article out and keeping it next to your keyboard while you’re learning them and soon enough, you’ll become a master of Excel keyboard shortcuts!

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Which are your favorites? Add a comment and let us know!