9 Excel shortcuts

Ben Lauszat

Analytics and Data Science

Shortcuts are the best. No, seriously. Do you not get the best feeling when you are able to cut a few minutes of your commute because you know a quicker way? It’s amazing; so amazing, in fact, that the idea of shortcuts can easily be translated to the realm of computers, more specifically Excel. Although Excel has improved over the years, and become more user-friendly with less clicks needed to get the option you want, shortcuts can still save you quite some time.

In this blog entry I will show the nine best Excel shortcut tips. Of course, I could simply present a list of all the shortcuts excel has to offer but that would make for a rather boring read. That’s why I decided to make gifs, which will help exemplify my tips.

1. Copy, cut and paste

This shortcut is one of the simplest but most effective. I use it constantly because it saves so much time compared to doing it by mouse. In this gif you will see the copy, paste and the cut, past stages. The shortcuts are CTRL+”c” (copy), CTRL+”x” (cut) and CTRL+”v” (paste). These shortcuts can also be used in Word.



2. Adjusting the paste format

If you are copying a text with a different format or want to make adjustments prior to pasting you need to open the paste box. The shortcut is CONTROL+ALT+”v” (open the paste box). It works in Word as well.


3. Completing a cell and moving around

If you are finished editing a cell but want to go up there are three shortcuts which complete a cell and move to an adjacent cell. You can move down (ENTER), up (SHIFT+ENTER) or you can move to the right (TAB).

Completing and moving

4. Adding a new line within a cell

If you are not finished with a cell but want to start a new line just press ALT+ ENTER (new line in a cell).

5. Adding current date

If you want to keep track of when you contacted influencers or bloggers, there is a shortcut that might help you. Just press CTRL+SHIFT+”,” in order to enter the current date.


6. Paste value from cell above

Be it a date, a name or anything you have in a cell above. You can copy and paste it, type it in and hope that excel recognises the repetition. Or you press CTRL+SHIFT+”/” (# for German keyboards) in order to paste the value from cell above. Keep in mind that the cell should have the right formatting.

paste from above


7. Open format window for section

To quickly edit a selection of cells, imagine you have a column with numbers and you want to make sure they are all displayed as currency then select the whole column with CTRL+SPACE and press CTRL+”1″ (opens the format window). If you select the formatting window with TAB you can select the currency option without using the mouse. By the way, SHIFT+SPACE allows you to select an entire row.

open format

8. Add current time

Similar to the date you can add the current time by using CTRL+SHIFT+“.”.Time in Excel

9. Add a hyperlink

The last but certainly not least shortcut is CTRL+”k” (adding a hyperlink). This one is brilliant because it works in Word as well, where it’s arguably even more useful than in Excel. If you have copied the URL just press this shortcut and paste it (with CTRL+ v in case you forgot), press ENTER and the text will function as a hyperlink.