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Shortcut Keys

Using Shortcut keys

Shortcut keys can really save you time, especially when you carry out repeated actions. The more often you use shortcut keys the easier it is to remember them.

It can be so much quicker to use a few keystrokes rather than move your hand from keyboard to mouse, search for the menu & select the button for the action you want to carry out.

It’s likely that you already use some shortcut keys without giving them much thought, for example clicking on the ‘Ctrl’ key followed by the letter ‘S’ to save a document or worksheet (Ctrl S).  Or ‘Ctrl N’ to open a new sheet or workbook.

Some of these shortcut keys will work across all Microsoft programmes while others are specific to a particular programme.

It is worth trying out some of these shortcuts to see which ones suit you.

I frequently use shortcut keys and have made a list below of the ones that I have found to be most useful.

NOTE:  when describing the shortcuts the use of the + sign is to advise you what other keys you need to press. 


MS OFFICE SHORTCUTS (these work across all MS programmes)

Go to the “Find” dialog box: Ctrl+F
Go to the “Find and replace” dialog box: Ctrl+H
Save file: Ctrl+S
Open a file: Ctrl+O
Add a new file: Ctrl+N
Open the “Print” dialog box: Ctrl+P
Ctrl+C to Copy a selection, Ctrl+X to cut, Ctrl+V to Paste.
Save as… : The F12 key.
Applying Bold, Italic and Underline: Ctrl+B, Ctrl+I and Ctrl+U

To jump one word at a time use Ctrl+arrow key (right arrow key to go forward from the cursor one word at a time & the left arrow key to go to previous words one word at a time)


The home key will take you to the start of a row of text.

The end key will take you to the end of a row of text.

Ctrl+home will take you to the beginning of a document

Ctrl+end will take you to the end of a document.

Ctrl+z – undo last action





Ctrl+r will align text to the right

Ctrl+l (default) will align text to the left

Ctrl+E will centre text

Ctrl+1 sets the paragraph to single line spacing

Ctrl+2 sets the paragraph to double line spacing

Ctrl+5 sets the paragraph to 1.5 line spacing


Ctrl+M will indent text by one tab stop

Ctrl+shift+M will decrease the indent by one tab stop


Change the case of text from lower to upper (or upper to lower, or to first letter capitals) – highlight the text you want to alter then press Shift+F3 (there are a range of F buttons at the top of the keyboard).  This is a toggle button so each time you press the shift+F3 button the selection will change.




Shift+SPACE  select a row
Ctrl+A highlights the entire worksheet

You can use the Ctrl+Shift then one of the direction arrows on the keyboard to select a range of cells to the top, bottom, right or left of the cursor.  This is something worth trying.

Quickly move to the next worksheet (say Sheet1 to Sheet2) by pressing Ctrl+PgDown or to go to the previous worksheet press Ctrl+PgUp

Shift+SPACE will select the whole row

Ctrl+SPACE will select the whole column



(to help you remember this think of the letter i’ for insert then add r for row, c for column & w for worksheet)

Insert row: Alt+i and then r
Insert a column: Alt+i and then c
Insert new Worksheet: Alt+i and then w

The default settings will insert the new row above the row where you have your cursor & the new column to the left.

Moving to specific locations in the worksheet:

Ctrl+Home will place your cursor in cell A1


Ctrl+End will place your cursor in the last cell of your data in the worksheet (the most bottom-right cell).


To go to a specific cell press Ctrl+G, and enter in the destination cell’s address. For example: C5

Editing text:

Press Alt+Enter when writing text in a cell, to add a line break inside the cell.

Auto sum function:
Position the active cell underneath a column of numbers, and press Alt+= you can highlight the range of cells that you want to include in the sum.



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