The 10 most useful Excel keyboard shortcuts

Why complicate your spreadsheet life with a bunch of tricks you'll never use? These 10 shortcuts will expedite the Excel tasks you perform every day.

As we've observed before, there's no shortage of information on Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts. You can tap the Help files, hunt the info down via Google, or download a comprehensive list, like this Excel cheat sheet.

It's great to know the resources are out there. But on a practical level, mastering 10 genuinely useful shortcuts will get you a lot farther than a vague knowledge of 50 shortcuts you seldom use and can't remember. Here are 10 timesavers that put the short in shortcut.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

The shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Insert a new line within a cell [Alt] [Enter]
Enable editing within a cell [F2]
Add a comment to a cell [Shift] [F2]
Open Print Preview [Ctrl] [F2]
Fill selected cells with an entry you typed in one cell [Ctrl] [Enter]
Fill data down or to the right through selected cells [Ctrl] D or [Ctrl ] R
Create a name [Ctrl [F3]
Insert the current date or time Ctrl] and ; (semicolon) or Ctrl and : (colon)
Create a chart from a range of data [F11]
Toggle the display of formulas [Ctrl] ~

Your picks?

"Most useful" is certainly in the eye of the beholder. What favorite keyboard shortcuts would you add to the list?


Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

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