The 9 Best Excel Shortcuts You Should Start Using Now

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Excel spreadsheets are an excellent tool that can be utilized in nearly every field and industry.

However, when first learning this spreadsheet system, the program can seem difficult to format and use efficiently. Thankfully there are a variety of Excel shortcuts that can help speed up this process.

Some of these Excel shortcuts include:

  • Alt + Enter to enter a new line within a cell
  • Ctrl + Space to select an entire column
  • Shift + Space to select and entire row
  • Ctrl + 0 to hide a column
  • Ctrl + Colon to insert the current date
  • Ctrl + Shift + Colon to insert the current time
  • Ctrl + ~ to show or hide formulas
  • Alt + = to determine total sum
  • Ctrl + S to save the spreadsheet

Here’s how to use these 9 Excel shortcuts as well as some instances where they may be useful.

New Line in Cell: Alt + Enter

When you think of using Excel, chances are that you imagine pages and pages of complicated numbers and formulas.  While this is one of the main functions of Excel, there are times that text will need to be used, especially when creating lists that complement these Excel formulas.

To effectively create these lists, oftentimes, you will need to add a new line within the same cell. To do this, use the Excel shortcut Alt + Enter. This will jump your spacebar to another line, allowing you to type more text within the same cell.

Select Entire Column: Ctrl + Space

When making calculations on Excel, it will be necessary to select an entire column. While it is possible to just select the column by highlighting where the column begins at the top of the spreadsheet, there is an Excel shortcut that can speed up this action.

Try using Ctrl + Space to select a column and get ready to be amazed at how quickly you can create a formula! This Excel shortcut will be particularly handy while creating a column chart, which is most often used in a business setting to show data comparison.

Select Entire Row: Shift + Space

Similar to selecting an entire column, there are times when you will need to select the entire row on an Excel spreadsheet. Thankfully there is another shortcut for this action.

Using the keystrokes Shift + Space will select the entire row that your mouse is currently highlighting making it very simple to copy that row’s data or include that row in a formula.

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Hide Column: Ctrl + 0

It seems counterintuitive to want to hide a row of information on a spreadsheet that is intended to record all the data that is needed for a project; however, there are times when this function is necessary! Whether there is confidential information that you are trying to protect or you are working on an extensive spreadsheet and need to focus on the data that is immediately needed, hiding a column on Excel can be crucial.

The simplest shortcut that can be used to hide a column on Excel is to select the desired column and use the keystrokes Ctrl + 0. The column and all of its data will still remain attached to the spreadsheet but will be hidden until the action is undone.

Insert Current Date: Ctrl + Colon

When creating a master spreadsheet that will be referenced and updated many times throughout the year, like when using a spreadsheet to track your progress on paying down your debt, it is important to be able to add the current date. In doing so, you will be able to accurately track your progress throughout the year.

A simple Excel shortcut for adding a date to your spreadsheet is to use the keystroke Ctrl + : .

This will easily add a date stamp to your spreadsheet giving you an accurate timeline for your projects that span weeks, months or even years.

Insert Current Time: Ctrl + Shift + Colon

Sometimes a spreadsheet is being updated not daily, but hourly. When you have such time-sensitive data being updated, it is crucial to include a timestamp of when the data was inputted.

To use a simple Excel short to input the current time, use the keystroke of Ctrl + Shift + Colon.

Show or Hide Formulas: Ctrl + S

Occasionally when working on a formula, something will go amiss. Whether the calculations are not adding up correctly or some data is not being included in the formula, it is important to double-check that everything is working as it should be.

In these moments, it is wise to take a look at your formulas. To show a formula, use the Excel shortcut of Ctrl + S. Once you have inspected your formula and fixed any issue that arose, you can use the same keystroke, Ctrl + S, to hide the formula.

To Determine the Total Sum: Alt + =

One of the most popular shortcuts used on Excel spreadsheets is determining the total sum of a range of selected cells.

To use this Excel shortcut, first select the cell where you want the sum to be inputted. Then select the range of cells that you want to be calculated. Using the keystroke of Alt + = the total sum of the numbers will be displayed into the chosen cell.

To Save the Spreadsheet: Ctrl + S

There is no worse feeling than realizing that you forgot to save the spreadsheet you had been working on for hours. Knowing that all your hard work is gone due to one moment of carelessness is enough to drive someone crazy!

Thankfully you can avoid this catastrophe by using a simple Excel shortcut. Using the keystrokes Ctrl + S will automatically save your spreadsheet as well as save you the headache of trying to recover any lost information! A win-win solution!

There are 5 simple Excel shortcuts that will help streamline using a spreadsheet as well as make your life just a little bit simpler.

Regardless if you are working on a personal project like creating a  budget or putting the final touches on the data needed for a big work presentation, this Excel shortcut cheat sheet is sure to make all the difference!

You might also be interested in: How to Become Smarter: 7 Ways To Increase Your Brainpower in 2020

Brady Smith

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