If you are looking for a quick and easy way to start improving your Excel skills in 2018 then why not try learning a few basic shortcut commands. You don’t have to become an expert and master all of the available keyboard shortcuts in Excel but learning a few that are helpful to you personally can save you a lot of time over the next 12 months, what have you got to lose!
What is a shortcut command in Excel?
A shortcut command in Excel is a way of achieving an action using a combination of keys on the keyboard. For example rather than reaching for your mouse and clicking on the Copy icon then the Paste icon you could leave that mouse to one side, keep your hand on your hopefully freshly cleaned for 2018 keyboard and press CTRL+C to copy followed by CTRL+ V to paste.
Why learn shortcut commands in Excel?
So why should you spend 10 minutes of your time learning a few shortcut commands and using up one or two brain cells to remember them, especially when you can already do all of the commands you need to in Excel? I think there are a few very compelling reasons:
- You will become a lot more productive than your non shortcut command using colleagues! You will soon start saving 10-15 seconds per command which easily builds into 10 minutes every day for anyone who uses Excel quite often on a daily basis. That could equate to about 40 hours over the course of this new year which means you will be a week more productive than your colleague without working any extra hours….Did someone say pay rise 🙂
- It will get you noticed. How many times do you use Excel with your boss or a colleague watching over your shoulder or sat next to you? My guess is it happens a fair amount so trust me when I say people get impressed when you start using shortcut commands in Excel and it can make even a beginner look like a pro! A few shortcut commands can really enhance your reputation with your peers, Did someone say pay rise 🙂
- A lot of the basic shortcut commands are transferable across other Microsoft software so if you also use Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and the like you will also improve your productivity in those software packages, it wont be long before you are considering sending yourself off for Microsoft Office Certification!
Basic Shortcut Commands
To start you off here are some of the basic commands that are used frequently by most Excel users, they are always pretty simple to remember and start using straight away.
These commands all operate by using the CTRL key followed by another key, for example the first shortcut command in the list (make the selection Bold) is achieved by holding down the CTRL key and pressing the B key on your keyboard…pretty obvious eh! Why not test them as you read through and you’ll see just how simple they are to master:
CTRL + B = Bold
CTRL + I = Italic
CTRL + U = Underline
CTRL + C = Copy
CTRL + V = Paste
CTRL + ; = Enters Current Date into cell
CTRL + F = Opens the “Find” dialog box
CTRL + H = Opens the “Replace” dialog box
CTRL + P = Opens the “Print” dialog box
CTRL + S = Saves the active file
CTRL + N = New workbook
CTRL + O = Opens the “Open file” dialog box
CTRL + Z = Undo last action
There are so many shortcut commands built into Excel so I may look to add a second post on some more useful commands over the next week or two, first I want you to spend a bit of time learning the basics!
If you have a thirst for knowledge and can’t wait for my next post on the subject the full range of shortcut keys available in Microsoft Excel can be found on the Microsoft office reference page here