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Microsoft Office Excel : 10 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Many people use spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel / Openoffice Calc on a daily basis. Many people also find this to be a tedious task. Employing a few simple keyboard shortcuts can make your work with Microsoft Excel more efficient and can make your life infinitely easier.

As a IT Professional, I find myself plowing through spreadsheets most of the day. As a result, I've picked up a handful of Excel shortcuts that minimize the amount of time that my hands leave the keyboard. It's important to note that Microsoft Office shortcuts
certainly apply when using Excel, such as Ctrl + "C" to copy or Ctrl + "V" to paste. The following ten shortcuts, though, are specific to Excel and will make you the envy of the office.

Ctrl + Page Up / Ctrl + Page Down
One of the easiest ways to save time when working in Excel is to move from worksheet to worksheet without using the mouse. Press & hold Ctrl key and press Page Up to move forward one worksheet and press & hold Ctrl + Page Down to move backward one worksheet.

Ctrl + Tab
If you're working with multiple workbooks, you need to be able to toggle between them with ease. Hold Ctrl + Tab to toggle through all of your open workbooks.

Alt + "="
The sum function is one of the most utilized functions within Excel. Instead of typing it in, press & hold Alt key and press "=" once to add the cells directly above or directly beside the cell you're in.

Shift + F3
If you want to insert a function other than a sum, hold Shift + F3 to launch the "Insert Function" command box. From here, you can scroll through all of the functions available within Excel.

Ctrl + "1"
If you need to format a cell and you don't have a specific shortcut, hold Ctrl + "1" to open the "Format Cells" command box. From here, you can pick and choose the necessary formats.

Ctrl + Shift + "$" / Ctrl + Shift + "%"
The default format setting on Excel is a number without commas, dollar signs, percent signs or fixed decimal places. If you're entering dollars and need a quick format, hold Ctrl + Shift + "$" to format as a dollar with two decimal places. For example, if you've entered 2 in the cell, hold Ctrl + Shift + "$" to show it as $2.00. If you've intended to show a percentage, hold Ctrl + Shift + "%" to show the number as a percentage. For example, if you've entered 0.5 in the cell, hold Ctrl + Shift + "%" to show it as 50%.

Ctrl + "D" / Ctrl + "R"
In some instances, there are quicker ways to copy and paste information than utilizing Ctrl + "C", Ctrl + "V". If you want to copy the contents of a cell down (either a number or formula), simply move to the cell directly below it and hold Ctrl + "D". If you want to move the contents to the right, move to the cell directly to the right and hold Ctrl + "R". If you want to copy the data to more than one cell, you must highlight the cell with the data in it along with all of the cells to which you are copying it. At this point hold either Ctrl + "D" or Ctrl + "R". Unfortunately this doesn't work with cells above or to the left, but this will save you time nonetheless.

Ctrl + Shift + "7" / Ctrl + Shift + Underscore
Some times users need to place a box around a cell or series of cells to highlight a number or result. The easiest way to put a box around a cell or series of cells is to highlight the area that you'd like to box and hold Ctrl + Shift + "7". In addition, there are times when you want to remove lines or boxes from a cell or series of cells. To do this, highlight the area where you'd like to remove this formatting and hold Ctrl + Shift + Underscore.

Ctrl + "["
There are times when you have a cell that contains a formula or a link and you find yourself wondering from where it came. Try holding Ctrl + "[" to trace the precedents of the cell. To go back, hit F5 and then Enter.

Shift +Spacebar / Ctrl + Spacebar
If you need to highlight an entire row or an entire column, there's an easy way to go about it. Press & hold Shift key and press Spacebar to highlight a row or press & hold Ctrl  key and press Spacebar to highlight a column.
There are countless other keyboard shortcuts within Excel that will enhance your overall user experience. Sometimes the best way to learn is simply to experiment. Next time you're working in an Excel spreadsheet, press a few keys and see what happens. You might even impress yourself.

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