Excel: Move and select faster with keyboard shortcuts

When it comes to moving around larger workbooks and selecting data, keyboard shortcuts are a big time saver. The list of keyboard shortcuts in this section are those I use the most and are certainly not an exhaustive list. To obtain a full list of keyboard shortcuts, press F1 to display Excel Help and search for Keyboard Shortcuts.

Entering and displaying data

  • Ctrl+; (semicolon) Enter the current date
  • Ctrl+Shift+: (colon) Enter the current time
  • Ctrl+’ (single quote) Copy the value from the cell above
  • Ctrl+` (single left quotation mark) Alternate between displaying cell values and displaying cell formulas

Selecting cells, columns, or rows

  • Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar Select the current region around the active cell

NOTE: The current region is the data area enclosed by blank rows and blank columns.

  • Shift+Arrow key Extend the selection by one row or column
  • Ctrl+Shift+Arrow key Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell
  • Shift+Home Extend the selection to the beginning of the row for the active cell
  • Shift+End Extend the selection to the end of the row for the active cell
  • Ctrl+Shift+Home Extend the selection from the active cell to the beginning of the worksheet
  • Ctrl+Shift+End Extend the selection from the active cell to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner)
  • Ctrl+Spacebar Select the entire column for the active cell
  • Shift+Spacebar Select the entire row for the active cell
  • Ctrl+Shift+ A Select the entire worksheet

TIP: When you use the keyboard shortcuts for selecting without the Shift key they will navigate rather than select. The exceptions are those that utilize the Spacebar.

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