Best 52 Excel Shortcuts Only Experts Know

Excel is one of the most used spreadsheets. One of the differentiating factors between Excel and other spreadsheets is the availability of shortcuts. Excel offers hundreds of shortcuts, whether dedicated or through the ribbon. You can use shortcuts in Excel to cut short on time you’d usually spend navigating to find an option.

In this article, we have categorized shortcuts according to their functionality.

Workbook Shortcuts

workbook excel

These shortcuts deal with actions like saving, editing, deleting, and creating similar changes in your Excel workbook.

Shortcut Function Description
Ctrl + N Create a new workbook You can use this shortcut to create a new workbook quickly.
Ctrl + O Open an existing workbook This shortcut saves time when you wish to launch an existing workbook.
Ctrl + PgUp/ Ctrl + PgDn Switch between sheets This shortcut is helpful when dealing with multiple spreadsheets in a workbook.
Ctrl + F9 Minimize Workbook When you have multiple active workbooks, use this shortcut to minimize the workbook but not the entire Excel program.
Ctrl + F12 Save As When you want to save different copies of the same document.
Ctrl + S Save Save changes on the existing workbook.
Ctrl + P Print Quickly print your Excel documents out.
Shift + F11 Create a new worksheet When you have related data but cannot enter it in your current worksheet.
Ctrl + W Close current workbook When you’re done making changes and have saved your document, you can use this shortcut to close your workbook.

Shortcuts for Rows and Columns

Row Column Excel

Excel offers shortcuts to create changes and navigate through the alignments of your Excel workbook. You can create, edit, delete and move between cells through Excel shortcuts.

Shortcut Function Description
F2 Edit cell content Use this shortcut to enter, edit, or delete cell contents.

Simply move to the cell you wish to enter your data in and use this shortcut.

Alt + I + R Insert a new row above If you missed a row, use this shortcut to add a new row above the selected cell.
Alt + I + C Insert a new column to the left This shortcut adds a new column to the left of the selected cell.

This comes in handy if you’ve missed a column entry.

F4 Repeat the last action If you need to enter more than one row/column, you can pair F4 after your formula to add a new row or column.
Ctrl + Shift Select all data in a column When you have to only select non-empty cells in a column.
Alt + H + O + I Resize column to fit the cell content If your cell content bleeds out of the cell.
Ctrl + – Delete cells Select the cells you wish to delete from the spreadsheet then hit the shortcut.

Formatting Shortcuts

Formatting Excel

There are several shortcuts Excel offers to format texts and cells.

Shortcut Function Description
Ctrl + Shift + ~ Convert cell to General Select the cell or range you wish to convert before you use the shortcut.

This shortcut will convert any selected cell or range to the general format.

Ctrl + Shift + # Convert number to date Click on the cell before using the shortcut. Your value must be numeric for this shortcut to work.
Ctrl + 1 Open Format cells window Excel triggers the Format cell window to appear when your use this shortcut.

You can use the format cells window to apply any formatting to your cell, including custom formatting.

Ctrl + Shift + L Insert Filter You can apply this shortcut in the top-most cell of a range.

Adding a filter helps you to sort data that falls under the range.

Ctrl + Shift + ! Add thousands and decimal separator Select the cell to use the shortcut. You can use this feature to make your data presentable.
Ctrl + B Bold Format Select the text you wish to format as bold text then apply the shortcut. 
Ctrl + I Italics Format Highlight the text you wish to apply the text formatting to then use the shortcut.
Ctrl + U Underline Format Select the text you wish to underline then use the shortcut.
Alt + H + A + C Center Alignment Excel uses left alignment for texts and right alignment for numbers.

You can use this shortcut to center your value in the selected cells.

Alt + H + H Fill cell Select the cell you wish to fill and use the shortcut.

Excel will open a window where you can pick a fill color.

Alt + H + B Apply border Click on the cell you want to insert a border.

Excel will create a black border around your cell.

Ctrl + Alt + V Paste Special Excel will trigger the Paste special window when you use this shortcut.

You can choose how you want to paste your data.

Alt + O + D Conditional Formatting Select a cell/range before you use this shortcut.

While you can edit the cell location in the Conditional Formatting window, it is more convenient if you do it beforehand. 

Alt + W + V + G Remove Gridlines Excel will remove the vertical and horizontal lines that visibly separate each cell in the grid.
Alt + H + E + F Clear Formatting Select the cells with formatting and use this shortcut to remove all formatting.

Shortcuts for Data Entry

Data Entry Excel

Excel also offers shortcuts that help you enter values into your spreadsheet. These shortcuts range from using AI to fill in the rest of your data to shortcuts in creating charts.

Shortcut Function Description
Ctrl + E Flash Fill Select the cell, most preferably the top cell of the column you wish to apply flash-fill.

If your data is following a noticeable pattern, Excel will automate data in the remaining cells.

Ctrl + K Insert hyperlink Excel will trigger the Insert Hyperlink window.

You can specify the link and display text in the window.

Ctrl + ; Enter system date Excel will paste the current system data in the selected cell when you enter this shortcut.
Ctrl + Shift + ; Insert system time Select a cell, then, use this shortcut to insert the current system time.
Ctrl + R Duplicate right cell Excel will paste data from the right cell.

Make sure there are no empty cells in between.

Ctrl + D Duplicate cell above Excel will replicate the data from the above cell.

Make sure the data you wish to replicate is directly above the cell you apply the shortcut in.

Ctrl + T Insert Table Select a range and range to insert a table.
Alt + F1 Create Chart Excel will insert an empty chart on the grid when you use this shortcut.

Right-click on the object to create changes.

Alt + N + V PivotTable Window Excel will trigger the create PivotTable window.
Alt + D + P PivotTable Wizard You can use this shortcut to analyze your PivotTable.
Alt + H + E + C Clear data only This shortcut will remove the data in the cell.

Other entries such as formatting and conditional formatting will remain in the cell.

Alt + H + E + A Clear all Excel will remove everything in the cell including data, formatting rules, and tables.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Excel

If you’re reviewing somebody else’s work or you’re just analyzing some data, you can choose from several shortcuts to finish your work quicker.

Shortcut Function Description
Ctrl + ` Show formula To see all formulas applied in each cell.
F7 Spell-check Excel will display all words in the sheet that aren’t in the dictionary.
Ctrl + Shift + 0 Select cells with comments Excel will select the cells with comments.

This way you can read the extra bit of information the creator may have left for you.

Ctrl + ] Select cells with formulas referring to active cells If you want to check which formulas refer to an active cell in the spreadsheet, you can use this shortcut.

This way, when you’re making changes you can be sure not to move or remove certain values, avoiding the #REF! error.

Ctrl + F Find Tool Excel will open the find and replace window. If you want

Excel to locate a value and change it with different data, head to the Replace tab.

Ctrl + F3 View all Named Ranges Excel will open Name Manager where you can check all named ranges and their location.
Alt + = Autosum Use this formula on an empty cell next to your values to create a sum.

Keep the alignment of your values in mind before choosing the cell to apply Autosum in.

If your value is placed vertically, make sure you select an empty cell right under the range. Similarly, if your value is placed horizontally, select the cell next to where your range ends.

Ctrl + Shift + A Insert Argument Use this shortcut right after you enter a formula to generate the required arguments.
Shift + F3 Insert Function Window Excel will trigger the Insert Function window. This window is extremely helpful if you’re new to using functions.

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