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Memorize these 10 Excel shortcuts to boost your productivity

It’s easier than ever to instantly become a spreadsheet master. All you have to do is ditch the mouse and start using keyboard shortcuts instead.

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man typing on computer keyboardLearning keyboard shortcuts and other Excel tricks can help you save time on daily tasks. (lenetstan/Shutterstock)

If you’re aiming for extreme productivity with Excel, you’ll need to ditch your mouse and keep your hands on the keyboard. That means developing a repertoire of keyboard shortcuts that can help you create, edit, and navigate your spreadsheet efficiently. 

Commit these 10 time-saving tricks to memory:

  1. Add the current date to a cell with Ctrl + Semicolon (PC) or Control + Semicolon (Mac)
  2. Add the current time to a cell with Ctrl + Shift + Colon (PC) or Command + Semicolon (Mac)
  3. Navigate to the edge of a sheet with Ctrl + any arrow button (PC) or Command + any arrow key (Mac)
  4. Navigate to the first cell of a worksheet with Ctrl + Home (PC) or Fn + Control + ← (Mac)
  5. Navigate to the last filled cell of a worksheet with Ctrl + End (PC) or Fn + Control + → (Mac)
  6. Open Excel Help with F1 (PC) or Command + / (Mac)
  7. Check spelling with F7 (PC and Mac)
  8. Shift between Excel worksheets with Ctrl + PgUp or PgDn (PC) or Option + → or Option + ← (Mac)
  9. Open the formatting dialog box with Ctrl +1 (PC) or Command + 1
  10. Open the Find dialog box with Ctrl + F (PC) or Control + F (Mac)

Please note that Mac shortcuts may vary. The shortcuts described here work in Excel 2016 with a US English keyboard layout.

Learning these shortcuts and other Excel tricks can help you save time on daily tasks. But to really boost your data-management skills, you’ll need to learn Power Query, a feature that can help you automate data cleanup tasks.


CPA Canada’s new Data Management Certificate is a five-course online program that helps business and accounting professionals understand how to use data to produce financial insights. The first course in the certificate, Data preparation: Cleansing, modelling and dashboards, focuses on Power Query.