Top 50 Excel Shortcuts That Will Transform the Way You Work In 2024

Microsoft Office has become a compulsory tool in almost every modern workplace. According to research, 81% of companies use MS Office and some of its many tools to increase efficiency in the workplace. 

MS Excel is one such feature of Microsoft Office that dominates the workspace single-handedly. Be it working with complex numbers or simply creating a spreadsheet with tedious data entry sessions- Excel makes it all easy.

However, there are ways to make your job a lot easier on Excel. The application itself has many different shortcuts that will revamp the way you work by cutting down on tiring tasks like- individually filling each unit, formatting, and so on. However, not many people know about these shortcuts. 

If you’re one of them, this blog is for you. Nonetheless, if you are already adept at using Excel shortcuts, what’s better than brushing up on the memory from time to time?

Why do you need Excel shortcuts? 

One can execute your work more quickly and easily with Excel shortcuts, increasing your level of productivity and effectiveness. Here are some reasons why you may need Excel shortcuts:

  • You may speed up your workflow by using Excel keyboard shortcuts. You can complete the task with fewer clicks and keystrokes, saving time. 
  • When you use keyboard shortcuts, you can eliminate the possibility of making errors when entering data or various formulas. This can help you avoid mistakes that can be very time-consuming to correct.
  • In Excel, some actions can be challenging and involve several steps. Excel shortcuts make it easier to complete these tasks by enabling you to do so by just pressing two or three keys together. 

You may be wondering if you need to learn these shortcuts, and the truth is no. However, it would help if you could recall a few of them, especially if you’re preparing MS Excel interview questions. You will be capable of recalling the majority of the standard Excel shortcuts with repeated practice. 

Let’s now explore the Excel shortcuts you should be familiar with when using Microsoft Excel or if you’re preparing yourself for an Excel interview questions and answers session.

Top 50 Excel Shortcuts Everyone Should Know 

According to functionality, the top 50 Excel shortcuts are as follows:

  • Shortcut keys for worksheet 

Shortcut keys for a worksheet typically refer to the keyboard shortcuts that let you carry out specific tasks inside the workbook. These include:

  1. Ctrl + N: Create a new worksheet 
  2. Ctrl + O: For opening an existing worksheet 
  3. Ctrl + S: For saving the current open worksheet
  4. Ctrl + W: Close the current worksheet 
  5. Ctrl + Page Up: Move to the previous worksheet
  6. Ctrl + Page Down: Move to the next worksheet
  7. Ctrl + F4: To close the spreadsheet 
  8. Alt + A: To access the Data tab
  9. Alt + W: To access the View tab
  10. Alt + M: To access the Formula tab

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  • Shortcut keys for cell formatting

You can quickly format cells in Microsoft Excel by using shortcut keys for cell formatting. Some of them are:

  1. Ctrl + C/V: To copy the selected/ paste copied cells, rows, or columns
  2. Ctrl + Shift + $: To apply the Currency format to the selected cells
  3. Ctrl + Shift + %: To apply the Percentage format to the selected cells
  4. Ctrl + B/ I/ U: To apply or remove bold, italic, and underline formatting
  5. Ctrl + Shift + &: To apply an outline border to the selected cells
  6. Ctrl + Shift + _: To remove borders from the selected cells
  7. F2: For editing a cell
  8. Alt + H + A + C: Centering the contents of a cell
  9. Tab: Move to the next cell
  10. Shift + Tab: Move to the previous cell
  11. Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow: To select all text starting at the cursor point and continuing through the current word or the following word on the right side of the cursor
  12. Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow: To select all text starting at the cursor point and continuing through the current word or the following word on the left side of the cursor
  13. Alt + H + H: For filling colour 
  14. Alt + H + B: Adding a border 
  15. Ctrl + Shift + Up Arrow: To select all the text from the current cursor position to the beginning of a paragraph
  16. Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow: To select all the text from the current cursor position to the end of a paragraph
  17. Shift + F2: To open the “Insert Comment” dialogue box, which allows you to add comments to cells in your spreadsheet
  18. Shift + F10 + D: To open the “Insert Comment” dialogue box, which allows you to delete comments to cells in your spreadsheet
  19. Ctrl + H:  To open the “Find and Replace” dialogue box. This shortcut lets you quickly search for specific content in your spreadsheet and replace it with different content if desired.
  20. Ctrl + Shift + L: To turn the “Filter” option on and off for a selected range of cells. When you press Ctrl + Shift + L, Excel will add filter arrows to the header row of the selected range, enabling you to filter and sort the data in that range.
  21. Ctrl + ; (semicolon): To insert the current date into a selected cell
  22. Ctrl + Shift + : (colon): To insert the current time into a selected cell
  23. Ctrl + K: Displays the dialogue box for “Insert Hyperlink” 
  24. Ctrl + Shift + $:  To format a range of cells with currency using the default currency symbol specified in your system settings.
  25. Ctrl + Shift + %: To apply percentage formatting to a selected range of cells.
  26. Alt + Q: To activate the Tell Me feature. This feature allows you to quickly find and execute various Excel commands and features by entering keywords or phrases related to your desired work.

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  • Shortcut keys for row and column formatting

Here are the shortcut keys for row and column formatting in Excel:

  1. Shift + Space: To select the entire row of the currently active cell
  2. Ctrl + Space: To select the entire column of the currently active cell
  3. Alt+H+D+C: To clear the selected column’s contents, right-click on the column header and select “Delete” from the context menu.
  4. Ctrl + – (minus): To display the “Delete” dialogue box where you can choose how you want to shift the remaining cells. But remember to select the entire row. 
  5. Ctrl+9: For hiding the selected row
  6. Ctrl + Shift + 9: Will unhide the selected row and display it in its original location in the worksheet
  7. Ctrl + 0: For hiding the selected column
  8. Ctrl + Shift + 0: Will unhide the selected column and display it in its original location in the worksheet
  9. Alt + Shift + Right arrow: Will group the selected rows or columns
  10. Alt + Shift + Left arrow: Will ungroup the selected rows or columns

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  • Shortcut keys for pivot tables

Here are some useful shortcut keys for Pivot Tables in Microsoft Excel:

  1. Alt + D: To create a Pivot Table
  2. Alt + F1: To see the Pivot Table Field List
  3. Alt + JT: To display or cover grand totals for rows and columns
  4. Alt + F5: To refresh a Pivot Table

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Why Should You Master These? 

Mastering keyboard shortcuts make you proficient in Excel, which can be especially useful if you use Excel frequently in your job or business. Repeatedly using the mouse to navigate and select cells in Excel can cause strain on your hand and wrist. Keyboard shortcuts can help to reduce this strain by allowing you to perform many tasks without using the mouse.

The most effective way to use Excel is to reduce mouse usage. Excellent proficiency with Microsoft Excel can lead to various job options in fields like finance, consulting, analytics, or other business responsibilities. The main tool for financial modelling and ad-hoc data analysis is Excel.

Mastering Excel keyboard shortcuts can be helpful in MS Excel interview questions in the following ways:

  • Show skill: If you can efficiently navigate and complete tasks in Excel with keyboard shortcuts, it can show the interviewer that you are skilled in using Microsoft Excel.
  • Save time: During an excel interview questions and answers, the interviewer may ask you to demonstrate your Excel skills because of the time limitations that frequently exist. You may complete work fast and effectively with the help of keyboard shortcuts, which can help you save time and better display your abilities.
  • Boost accuracy: Using keyboard shortcuts can help you execute tasks accurately and reduce errors, showing that you pay attention to details and are accurate.
  • Exhibit flexibility: Excel skills can demonstrate your flexibility and ease with different ways of carrying out Excel tasks, which is helpful in a position requiring extensive usage of the programme.

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You may create analytical reports and data charts more quickly and effectively using Excel keyboard shortcuts. Now that you understand the different Excel keyboard shortcuts, you can format values quickly and process workload faster than usual. 

While honing Excel shortcuts is important, proficiency in other technical fields through consistent upskilling is another factor recruiters look for. 

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What is the F7 key in MS Excel used for?

The F7 key displays the spelling dialogue box on the Excel sheet. This lets the user check for incorrect spellings in the active worksheet or selected domain. When the window is not maximised, the combination key Ctrl+F7 is used to carry on the functionality of the “Move” command on the worksheet.

What are the basic Excel skills to master when preparing for a job interview?

Some of the top excel skills to master before an interview are- Shortcuts, Importing Data, Auto-Correct, Auto-fill, Alter and Customise Page Layout, and Display Formulas.

How to learn Excel fast?

To learn Excel faster, you can dedicate some amount of time each day to practice the shortcuts. You can also solve various Excel interview questions daily to further upskill yourself.

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