Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts to Use Within Excel Worksheets

Spreadsheets and graphs on a desk

Working in Excel can sometimes feel like a “death by a thousand cuts” experience when you aren’t aware of subtle timesavers. In this article I’ll show you a number of ways that you can quickly navigate within an Excel worksheet so that you too don’t end up inefficiently frittering away a day.

Many years ago I coined the phrase: “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” A case in point is a recent video by Hunter Hobbs where he manually scrolls down to the bottom of an Excel spreadsheet by holding down the Down arrow key.

In case you’re wondering, it takes more than nine hours to get to the bottom of an Excel spreadsheet in this fashion. And, yes, Mr. Hobbs is aware that he could have pressed Ctrl-Down to get to the bottom of the worksheet in an instant.

Here’s some more useful shortcuts for you:

  • Ctrl-Arrow Key: Holding down the Ctrl key along with any arrow key (left, right, up, or down) jettisons your cursor in a given direction within the worksheet. How far you’ll travel is predicated on where you are when you press the keyboard shortcut:

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About David Ringstrom, CPA

David Ringstrom

David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.


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Mar 31st 2017 08:04

Another alternative to using Ctrl-Arrow Key or Ctrl-End is to press the END key release it and then press the Up, Down, Left or Right Arrow key to move to the last cell filled with data in a row or column.

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Apr 4th 2017 13:35


Thank you for the additional shortcuts. I purposely omitted the End/Arrow combinations because I've found in teaching Excel webinars that the dizzying array of keyboard shortcuts in Excel become bewildering, so I've settled on mostly teaching the Ctrl key combinations. End/Arrow certainly works--I've used it endlessly myself.


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