25 Excel shortcuts that will increase your productivity through the roof

Below is a selection of the most useful (at least by my standards) Excel hotkeys and shortcuts. They were selected because they are easy to use and remember and they really improve your efficiency in Excel once you know them. So I strongly recommend that you do our little quiz afterwards, to test your knowledge. Still, it is hard to be exhaustive on the Excel shortcuts and hotkeys as they are plenty and they depend on your Excel version and keyboard language for some of them. Feel free to suggest more shortcuts!

Shortcuts to move quickly in a worksheet

CTRL + ARROW: move rapidly into your worksheet.

It is very useful to go quickly up and down the columns, right and left on a row.

  • If the active cell is on a cell with some content, the shortcut will send you to the end of the area with content in either direction you decide with the arrow keys,
  • If the active cell is empty, or the adjacent cell is empty in the direction you are moving to, you move to the next block of content or to the edge of the worksheet (that can be pretty far!)

CTRL + SHIFT + ARROW: move quickly into your worksheet and select all the cells from your start point to your new position.

  • The behaviour is exactly the same as the previous shortcut.

CTRL + Page Up / Page down: Go to the previous/next worksheet.

This one is extremely useful to move through tabs as Excel user interface for tabs is quite poor I think.

  • The Page Up and Page Down keys are the keys with the small arrows, probably far on the right side of your keyboard.

CTRL + SHIFT + Page Up / Page down: Select the previous/next worksheet. It works similarly to the previously described shortcut.

CTRL + TAB: Go to the next opened workbook in that Excel session.

CTRL + ALT + TAB: Navigate among all the applications opened in windows 10

File actions hotkeys

CTRL + N: Create a new workbook

CTRL + O: Open an existing workbook

CTRL + S: Save the current workbook

CTRL + W: Close the current workbook

SHIFT + F11: Add a new worksheet

Shortcuts to apply formatting in an Excel worksheet

CTRL + B: Put the content in the current selection into bold format.

CTRL + I: Put the content in the current selection into Italic format.

CTRL + U: Put the content in the current selection into Underlined format.

These shortcuts are shared by many other desktop applications, especially Microsoft ones (try it under Word, Powerpoint or any email client next time you get a chance).

CTRL + SHIFT + !: Put the selection into number format

CTRL + SHIFT + $: Put the selection into currency format

CTRL + SHIFT + %: Put the selection into percentage format

CTRL + SHIFT + #: Put the selection into date format

Add standard formulas and content

ALT + = : This shortcut adds automatically a SUM function in the current cell. This hotkey is extremely underrated and it deserves to be better known! But it is the sad destiny of those shortcuts that don’t start with CTRL I guess…

  • If the active cell is immediately below or on the right of a group of cells with numbers, the formula will be written to sum them up,
  • It doesn’t work if the active cell is on the left or above the targeted group of cells.

By respect for you, I won’t talk about CTRL + C, CTRL + X and CTRL + V for copy, cut and paste (sorry I couldn't resist). But you may not know about this one:

CTRL + ALT + V: Paste special

CTRL + F: is extra popular: find a cell with a specific content in the value or the function. If you have selected a range of cells it will only search that range and save some time. You then also have a menu to replace this content by something else.

CTRL + H: Instead of going through the CTRL + F menu to replace, go to the replace menu directly! This one can definitely impress your boss when he looks above your shoulder.

CTRL + PLUS (+): Add a new cell or group of cells with the same dimensions as the current selection (this one is handy to add new line quickly)

CTRL + MINUS (-): Delete the cells in the current selection (also handy to delete lines quickly)

CTRL + SHIFT+ L: Use the first row of the current selection as head row for a filter.

  • If only the first row of the table is selected when you use the hotkey, Excel will try and guess the end of the area occupied by your data
  • If you have selected several rows before you do the hotkey, Excel will only filter the rows that were in the selected area.



  • https://support.office.com: offers several interesting complete articles with shortcuts specific to your version and language
  • Basically any google search will bring dozens of responses, the quality is variable though.
Matthieu Liatard
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