Taking Control of Excel Shortcuts – Part Two

More shortcuts

Here are some more of my favourite keyboard shortcuts that use the Ctrl key. Many people prefer to use the keyboard rather than the mouse. These shortcuts can reduce your dependence on the mouse.

Ctrl + Enter

You can select a large range and type a value then press Ctrl + Enter to enter that value in all the cells. It’s great for entering zeroes in a large range. You can also enter formula this way.

Ctrl + Home

Takes you to the top, left of the visible sheet.

Ctrl + End

Takes you to the intersection of the last used row and the last used column – the cell may be blank.

Ctrl + +

This inserts rows, columns and cells. Be very careful about using it for cells – it can destroy the integrity of data tables. I select a whole row or a whole column when I use it. That doesn’t cause any issues with formula or data.

If you have a cell or cells selected you will see the Insert dialog displayed – see image below. When you see this dialog, be VERY careful how you respond. In most cases click Cancel or press Esc. Inserting cells or ranges can cause #REF! errors in other formula.

Use Undo (Ctrl + z) to fix it, if you do make a mistake.

I use the + key on the numeric keypad – it’s nice and large.

Insert and Delete dialogs

Ctrl + –

This deletes rows, columns and cells. Be very careful about using it for cells (just like the Insert ) – it can destroy the integrity of data tables. I select a whole row or a whole column when I use it.

If you have a cell or cell selected you will see a Delete dialog displayed – see image above. When you see this dialog, be VERY careful how you respond. In most cases click Cancel or press Esc. Deleting cells  row or columns can cause #REF! errors in formula.

Use Undo (Ctrl + z) to fix it, if you do make a mistake when using.

Ctrl + Page Up, Ctrl + Page Down

These two keys activate the next sheet tab in the file. Page Down activates the sheet tab to the right. Page Up activates the sheet tab to the left.

Ctrl + Tab

Activates open workbooks in sequence.

Ctrl + Pause/Break

If you use macros then this shortcut is useful. It pauses the macro and allows you to debug it or stop it. You would use this if the macro is taking a lot longer to run than usual and you think something may be wrong with it. When writing macro code from scratch it is possible to create an “endless loop” (code that never stops) this shortcut can save you from crashing Excel.

Ctrl + . (full stop or decimal point)

If you have a large range selected and you want to see the four corners of the range this shortcut will take you there. It cycles around the four corners.

Check out Part 1 of the shortcuts here.

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