Key basic Excel shortcuts that always save you time

There are a lot of shortcuts in Excel, which makes mastering all of them a daunting task for any beginner. But it will be much easier to just focus on the one that is most often used. Below are select list of shortcuts that most are guaranteed to use frequently. Please send us a note or reply if you think any obvious ones are missed. Note that:

  • The key is to avoid the mouse to save a lot of time.
  • Generic / obvious shortcuts such as copy and paste, bold or underline will not be listed
  • Shortcuts in Excel 2003 are included, as they are still supported for later versions (Excel 2007 and 2010)


  • Cntrl+(Up or down or left or right) -cell selection will move to the next non-blank cell in each respective direction
  • Cntrl+End -jump to the last non-empty cell on a worksheet
  • Cntrl+(Pg Up or Pg Down) -Switch to the previous or next tab (previous meaning the tab left to your currently opened tab, next meaning to the right)
  • Cntrl+Space -Select column(s)
  • Shift+Space -Select row(s)

Editing / Data

  • Alt e s  -paste special, note that you do not press them all together, but one after another
    • Alt e s t -paste format only
    • Alt e s f -paste formulas only (same as the normal paste in terms of the way formulas are copied; formulas, comments, etc are not copied)
    • Alt e s v -paste values only
  • Alt d f f -(Excel 2003 and earlier) turn on / off autofilter
  • Alt d g g -(Excel 2003 and earlier) group
  • Alt d g u -(Excel 2003 and earlier) ungroup
  • Alt+= -(Press Alt and the equal sign together) autosum

Search and Replace

  • Cntrl+F -Find
  • Cntrl+H -Replace

Debugging – I find myself using the first 2 a lot in complex spreadsheets

  • Cntrl+[ -Highlight all other cells that current cell links to; first cell in the formula will be selected
    • Enter  -Press enter right after to cycle through all the cells in the order they show up in the formula (only works if the cells are in the same worksheet)
    • Shift+Enter -Move backwards
  • Alt m a d -trace dependents (point arrows at cells that link to currently selected cell)
  • Alt m a a -remove arrows
  • Alt m v -audit formula

Other Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>