10 Essential Excel Shortcuts to save your timeline … and hairline! | Tips and Tricks



Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used (and one of the most powerful) tools in the Office Suite. After a while of performing actions through the ribbon, you undoubtedly will be on the hunt for a shortcut keystroke that will save you time and sanity.

We all know Copy (Ctrl-c), Cut (Ctrl-x), Paste (Ctrl-v), Undo (Ctrl-z), Redo (Ctrl-y), and Print (Ctrl-p). Beyond those, here are my 10 favorite shortcuts:

#1: Use Ctrl-‘(single quote) to copy formula from above cell.




  1. We see the text “Nellis”, “Consulting”, and “LLC” in cells A1, B1, and C1, respectively.


  2. In row 2, we have concatenated these 3 columns together through a formula to read “Nellis Consulting, LLC”.


  3. In row 3, we used our Ctrl-‘ shortcut to copy the formula from cell A2.


#2: Use Ctrl-“(double quote) to copy value from above cell.


Using the same example as in #1 above, we used our Ctrl-” shortcut to copy the value “Nellis Consulting, LLC” from cell A2.


#3: Use Ctrl-: (colon) to enter current time


Here, we see by using our Ctrl-: shortcut in a field, we can pull the current time.


#4: Use Ctrl-; (semi-colon) to enter current date


And, here, we see that by using our Ctrl-; shortcut, we can pull the current date


#5: Use Ctrl-U to expand formula window

With the cursor in any field, using our Ctrl-U shortcut, the formula window expands fully.


#6: Use Ctrl-d to duplicate first row value to range

  1. If we have a column of values (or blank fields), as we see here, we would highlight the values to change.


  2. By using our Ctrl-d shortcut, we can see that the value from the top highlighted cell is duplicated across the hightlighted range.


#7: Use Ctrl-L to add filters for a range


  1. Often times, we have a range of values in table form that we would want to quickly add column filters. Here, our example is a roster of student grades.


  2. By selecting any cell in the range and using our Ctrl-L shortcut, column filters appear.


#8: Use Ctrl-t to create table


  1. Using the same data set as #7, we can select any cell in the range and use our Ctrl-t shortcut to convert the range to a table. Immediately after, we receive the “Create Table” dialog.


  2. After clicking “OK”, our table is created.


#9: Use Ctrl-Shift-Home to highlight range from selected cell to top-left cell (A1)



  1. Once again, using the same data set, if we place our cursor in the bottom-right cell of the range and use our Ctrl-Shift-Home shortcut


  2. We can see that all cells to the left and up to cell A1 are selected.


#10: Use Alt- ↓ to choose from values present in the column




  1. Using the same data set, we place the cursor in the first blank cell in column A (cell A8).


  2. Then, by using our Alt-
    ↓ shortcut, we see that a menu of that column’s values (student names in our example) appears. We then select one of the items.


  3. After making the selection, the value is stored in the cell.


I hope these were helpful and at least some of them were new to you. If you had some other favorite shortcuts that you use, let’s talk about them in the comments.