Four handy Excel keyboard shortcuts

Use these easy keyboard shortcuts to quickly format cells, without pulling down a menu or reaching for the mouse.

Formatting cells takes just a few clicks -- it couldn't get much simpler than choosing Cells from the Format menu and clicking the appropriate setting. However, you can also format a cell or range from the keyboard. For quick formatting tasks without a menu or mouse, use the following keyboard shortcuts:
  • Date: [Ctrl] + #
  • Number: [Ctrl] + !
  • Time: [Ctrl] + :
  • General: [Ctrl] + ~
You can test these shortcuts quickly enough by entering a value and toggling through the different formats. First, enter the value 123 into any cell. Then, with that cell still selected, press [Ctrl]+# (but don't press Enter). Excel expresses the value 123 as the date 2-May-00. Next, press [Ctrl]+! and Excel formats the cell contents as a number, defaulting to two decimal places. Press [Ctrl]+: and Excel formats 123 as a time value. These keyboard shortcuts aren't huge time-savers, but if you prefer using the keyboard, they're certainly handy.