Windows from the Keyboard Tips, Microsoft Excel Useful Shortcuts Part 1, November 11, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions. The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

Microsoft Excel – Useful Shortcuts Part 1

Note that an Excel document contains a single workbook which in turn, may contain multiple worksheets (spreadsheets). Each worksheet contains rows and columns of data. The intersection of a row and column is called a cell. Rows are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc. and columns are labelled A, B, C etc. So, the cell in the third column and fifth row would be referenced as C5. The top left corner of the worksheet is cell A1.

  • To open a new workbook (Excel document) press Control+N.
  • To move around a worksheet, just use arrow keys. You can also use TAB and Shift+Tab to move to the next or previous cell within the row.
  • TO enter data into a cell, just type in the cell and press Enter to finish and move down to the next cell or, press TAB to finish your cell entry and move right to the next column.
  • To enter a formula into a cell, begin with an equal sign.
  • Press Delete to clear a cell’s contents.
  • To jump to a specific cell, press Control+G, then enter a cell reference such as H23, then press Enter.
  • To jump to a specific cell, and select all the intervening cells , press Control+G, then enter a cell reference, then press Shift+Enter.
  • To sum a row or column, position to the blank cell at the end of the row or bottom of the column. Then press ALT+H, U, S and then press Enter. This puts the Auto Sum formula into the cell to provide the total of the cells above or to the left.
  • Press Control+Space to select a column.
  • Press Shift+Space to select a row.
  • To select multiple columns or rows, select the first column or row, and then while holding down the Shift key, press the appropriate arrow key to select adjacent columns or rows.
  • To reach the last cell with data in any direction press Control+Arrow key or, End key, arrow key. For example, to jump to the last cell with data in the column, press Control+Down arrow or, End key, Down arrow. To reach the next nonblank cell in a row press Control+Right arrow or, End key, Right arrow. If you add the Shift key while performing these shortcuts, then the intervening cells will be selected.
  • If you are positioned on a blank cell, then the Control+Arrow keys will instead find the first nonblank cell in the given direction. This is a good way to find any cells in a column or row after what you think is the last cell. If there are no more cells in that direction, you will reach the bottom or right edge of the worksheet space. In that case, return to where you were by pressing Control + the reverse arrow. If there is an unexpected cell with data, you will be positioned on it.
  • For more shortcuts here is the complete list of Excel shortcuts.
  • And here is more info on basic Excel tasks using a screen reader.

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.