Data Validation Shortcut
I typically use the shortcut Alt A V V pressed in sequence (not held down) to open the Data Validation dialog.
I like it because you can do it one-handed. The A and V are close together.
There is another shortcut that works the same. Again, pressed in sequence and not held down. Alt D L
Use the one that is easiest for you.
Pivot Table Shortcuts
Here’s a couple of useful keyboard shortcuts for Pivot Tables.
Display/Hide the Pivot Table Field List – this list lets you create or change the Pivot Table.
Alt J T L – pressed in sequence, not held down.
To add Subtotals above the entries in an existing Pivot Table.
Alt J Y T T – again pressed in sequence, not held down.
Expand the Formula Bar
The Formula Bar can be expanded using the icon on the end. But there is a keyboard shortcut as well.
You can expand it or return it to one line using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + U.
Thanks to Excel MVP Tom Urtis for sharing this shortcut recently on LinkedIn.
The wait is over
Well, the wait is finally over in the subscription version.
You can now unhide more than one sheet at a time – woohoo!
New Task Pane Icons
Seems new icons have been added in the right of screen to allow you to switch easily between Task Panes in a recent upgrade.
This is in the subscription version of Excel.
Power Query shortcut for Adults
The shortcut to display the Queries & Connections Task Pane is easy to remember. It is Adults Only!
To display or hide the Queries & Connections Task Pane you use. These keys are pressed in sequence, not held down.
So only adults allowed in Power Query.
The Goal Seek feature can save you a lot of trial and error when you want a calculated cell to equal a specific value.
The keyboard shortcut to open the Goal Seek dialog is Alt T G.
Shortcut to lock or unlock a cell
The keyboard shortcut to unlock or lock a cell or a range (its a toggle, so it switches between the two) is Alt H O L pressed in sequence, not held down.
Did you know you can accumulate copied entries in the Windows clipboard?
The default setting is to only have the last thing you copied, but a setting change can give you access to multiple items to paste.
You can also pin items to the clipboard to keep them there.
To change the setting.
Click the Windows button and choose the Settings icon
The select System.
Then select Clipboard (bottom left) and change the Clipboard History to On – done.
If you copy multiple items you can press the Windows key and V to access what’s on the clipboard.
Then you can click the top right elipse icon to Pin the item to the clipboard.
Export as PDF
If you frequently export files as pdfs then this keyboard shortcut may save you a little time.
Pressed in sequence, not held down use
Alt F E A
Restart a Pivot Table in one go
If you want to clear all the fields from a Pivot Table you can use the clear all option.
On the PivotTable Analyze or Analyze tab click the Clear drop down and select Clear All.
This removes all the fields and allows you to start again from scratch.
Some actions clear the clipboard
Some actions in Excel will clear the clipboard after you have copied or cut.
Two common ones are
- inserting a new sheet
- clearing a filter – using Clear in the Data menu (keyboard shortcut Alt a c )
So if you are going to do either of these, do them before copying or cutting.
Windows File Explorer – New Folder
To insert a new folder in Windows File Explorer use Ctrl + Shift + N.
To switch to Full Screen mode – great for presentations – use
Ctrl + Shift + F1
Press it again to revert to the normal view.
Keyboard shortcut to insert a Text Box
A quick way to insert a Text Box is by pressing, in sequence (not held down) Alt N X.
A blank Text Box is placed in the middle of the sheet.
Fastest way to copy an image, graphic or chart
To copy an image, graphic or chart simply have the object selected and press Ctrl + D. You can press multiple time to paste multiple times.
If you line the first one up then the others will also line up as you duplicate them.
Make a Dent
Do you use Indenting in reports? Example below.
If you do, you make like this keyboard shortcut.
To increase Indenting press Alt H 6 pressed in sequence, not held down.
To decrease Indenting press Alt H 5 (is that an Outdent?)
Open the Filter Drop Down
If you have filters turned on and you are in the heading row of the table you can press Alt + down arrow to open the filter drop down.
You can then use the arrow keys to move up and down.
Bold Your Headings
Apparently this is not widely known, but you should always bold the headings in your tables.
Then when you use Format as Table (Ctrl + t) on the Home ribbon tab the header row will be correctly identified.
This also applies to the Ctrl + Shift + L shortcut to insert the filter drop downs.
It also applies to the ranges used for charts.
In general ALWAYS BOLD your headings – it is something Excel looks for.
Ctrl + b is the bold shortcut.
Delete a cell comment
From a question in a recent webinar I found a keyboard shortcut to delete a cell comment.
Alt r d pressed in sequence, not held down.
Adding current date to a cell comment
You may know that Ctrl + ; (semi-colon) will insert the current date in a cell.
Did you know it also works in a cell comment?
Advanced Filter Keyboard Shortcut
To open the Advanced Filter dialog use Alt A Q pressed in sequence, not held down.
If your sheet has a lot of colour and you want to print it on a black laser printer, one of the Page Setup options can improve the print.
On the Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog there is a Black And White option – see image below.
This removes all the colour and prints in black only,
You can access the Page Setup dialog from the Page Layout tab. Click the small arrow on the bottom right of the Page Setup section.
Data entry and calculating
In some large models Excel may calculate for a few seconds after you make an entry.
In most cases you don’t have to wait for Excel to finish calculating before you make your next entry.
Type your entries as fast as you like. Excel will finish calculating once you are done.
Show all comments
Cell comments are useful for instructions and documentation.
If you want to make all the comments on a sheet visible, use Alt v c pressed in sequence, not held down.
Once visible this shortcut also hides all the comments in one go.
This is an old Excel 2003 shortcut that still works.
Name Box and Macros
I have found out yet another feature of the Name Box.
The Name Box is on the left of the Formula Bar and above the column letters – see image below.
During a recent macro webinar I tried to create a new range name called Test using the Name Box.
But I also has already created a macro called Test as part of the training.
As soon as I pressed Enter after typing Test into the Name Box to create the Test range name, I was magically transported to the VBA window to the Test macro – Wow!
This means you can’t create a range name in the Name Box that is the same as a macro name.
You have to use the Define name icon on the Formulas tab to do that.
Easy Financial Year Formula
To get the Australian financial year from a date you usually use an IF function based on the month number.
I recently learned a new hack from Matt Allington of Exceleratorbi.
You can add 184 to the date and then use the YEAR function. See table and formulas below.
The formula in cell B2 is
The formula in cell C2 is
Both formulas have been copied down.
A simple solution to a frustrating issue. Thanks Matt.
Selecting a column
To quickly select a column of data in a formatted table you have a couple of options.
Select a cell in the column and press Ctrl + Space Bar.
This will select the column of data. If you want the heading too, press it again.
You can also select multiple columns before using the shortcut.
This technique can take practice if your headings are in row 1.
If the heading starts in row 2 or below it is easier. See image below.
If you point to just above the heading row you will see a downward facing, black arrow. Click this once to select just the data. Click it again to include the heading.
When the heading row is in row 1 you need to do the same but make sure the column letter doesn’t highlight.
The image below is the correct arrow – this will select the column in the table only.
In the image below the arrow shown (because the column letter is highlighted) will select the whole column, not just the data in the table.
VBA If statement tip
When creating long VBA code it is common that the start of an If statement and the matching End If statement may not be visible on the same screen.
When scrolling around trying to understand your code it can be useful to include the If statement itself as a comment following on the same line as the End If command – see examples below.
If x=0 Then
'lots of code
If y =1 Then
'lots of code
End If 'If y =1 then
End If 'If x=0 Then
The apostrophe is used to specify the start of a comment – you can have a comment following a line of code.
This structure can assist when trying to identify which End If statement relates to which If statement.
Entering Date and Time in Excel
There are shortcuts to enter
- the current Date Ctr + ;
- the current Time Ctrl + Shift + :
There isn’t one to enter both.
You can use them in sequence to achieve a date and a time entry.
In sequence press
Ctrl + ;
Ctrl + Shift + :
The space separates the date and time and Excel will recognise the entry as a date and time.