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Save time by using these top ten keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets

Updated on July 19, 2013
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Do you find it takes longer that you'd like to edit Microsoft Excel spreadsheets? Too much messing around with the mouse scrolling through menus trying to find the command you know is there somewhere?

Using keyboard shortcuts can seriously speed up your spreadsheet work. If you use spreadsheets regularly it is definitely worth learning at least the basic ones. Here are ten of my favourites.

1. Ctrl + s - Save

Probably the most important shortcut. Make sure you save regularly to avoid losing your work. I'm in the habit of hitting this regularly whenever I'm working. You do have to be careful though, when making changes you might not want to save!

2. Ctrl + x - Cut

Useful for quickly moving cells around. Hit ctrl + x to cut the cells, then put them where you want them to be using...

3. Ctrl + v - Paste

Once you're in the cell where you want to paste, just hit ctrl + v to drop any cut or copied cells in.

4. Ctrl + c - Copy

Used for copying cells, when you need to quickly repeat a calculation or set of data. Ctrl + c to copy and ctrl + v to drop it where you need it.

5. Ctrl + Home

Hit ctrl + Home to bring the cursor back to the first cell in the sheet (cell A1). Very useful way to quickly get back to the start of a large sheet without lots of scrolling!


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6. Ctrl + z - Undo

We all make mistakes. But that's why there is ctrl + z. Hit this to undo the last thing you did, Repeat until you have got rid of the problem and then carry on as if nothing has happened.

7. Ctrl + y - Redo.

Not as essential as ctrl + z but still very handy, ctrl + y can "undo" a ctrl + z undo and can be used to repeat tasks quickly rather than doing them manually over and over again.

8. Ctrl + a - Select all

This selects all the cells either in the current region or the whole active sheet. Press it twice to select the whole active sheet if you only have the current region selected.

9. Ctrl + o - Open

Quickly open saved documents by pressing ctrl + o.

10. Ctrl + n - New

Quickly open a new document by pressing ctrl + n.

Use these shortcuts every day and they will become second nature and you will become so much faster at using spreadsheets. And, let's be honest, who wants to use spreadsheets more than they need to!

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