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10 top Excel keyboard shortcuts

By Bill Jelen
March 27, 2014 06:30 AM ET

This article is excerpted from Excel 2013 in Depth and reprinted with permission of the publisher. Copyright Que, all rights reserved.

The problem with a list of hundreds of shortcut keys is that it is overwhelming. You cannot possibly absorb 233 new shortcut keys and start using them. The following sections cover some of my favorite shortcut keys. Try to incorporate one new shortcut key every week into your Excel routine.

Jumping between worksheets
Ctrl + Page Down goes to the next worksheet in an Excel 2013 workbook.

Quickly move between worksheets

Ctrl+Page Down jumps to the next worksheet. Ctrl+Page Up jumps to the previous worksheet. Say that your workbook has 12 worksheets named Jan, Feb, Mar, . . . Dec. If you are currently on the Jan worksheet, hold down Ctrl and press Page Down five times to move to Jun.

Jump to the bottom of data with Ctrl+Arrow

Provided there are no blank cells in your data, press Ctrl+Down Arrow to move to the last row in the data set. Use Ctrl+Up Arrow to move to the first row in the data set.

Add the Shift key to select from the current cell to the bottom. If you have data in A2:J987654 and your cursor is in A2, you can hold down Ctrl+Shift while pressing the down arrow and then the right arrow to select all the data rows but exclude the headings in row 1.

Select the current region with Ctrl+*

Press Ctrl+* to select the current range. The current range is the whole dataset, in all directions from the current cell until Excel hits the edge of the worksheet or a completely blank row and column. On a desktop computer, pressing Ctrl and the asterisk on the numeric keypad does the trick.

Jump to the next corner of a selection

You've just selected A2:J987654 but you are staring at the bottom-right corner of your data. Press Ctrl+Period to move to the next corner of your data. Because you are at the bottom-right corner, it takes two presses of Ctrl+Period to move to the top-left corner. Although this moves the active cell, it does not undo your selection. Although I always use Ctrl+Period twice, I should probably learn Ctrl+Backspace to bring the active cell back into view. That will be my new trick for next week.

Pop open the right-click menu using Shift+F10

When I do my seminars, people always ask why I don't use the right-click menus. I don't use them because my hand is not on the mouse! Pressing Shift+F10 opens the right-click menu. Use the up/down arrow keys to move to various menu choices and the right arrow key to open a fly-out menu. When you get to the item you want, press Enter to select it.

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