New Feature – Tuesday Tips!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy working with MS Excel.  Okay, maybe “enjoy” isn’t a strong enough word.  Let’s just say that I’ve learned to embrace my inner geek.  We hang out together and are pretty much best buddies, my geek and me.  Working in Excel is what I do nearly all day.  I love it.  And anytime I can share some tips with others and help their familiarity with Excel to grow, all the better.  So with that, I’d like to introduce a new feature of this blog called Tuesday Tips.  In it, I hope to highlight some handy Excel features that I’ve found quite useful or just plain cool.  And yes, Excel can be quite cool.  See?  There’s my geek again.  Along the way, if there’s a question you have about Excel’s features, feel free to ask.

Tip #1 – Use keyboard shortcuts for quick and easy formatting

While working in Excel, I find it much easier to use the keyboard for as much as I can.  This saves me from having to move my hands from the keyboard to the mouse to perform some function and then return them to the keyboard, only to go back to the mouse for something else, not to mention trying to find that button or menu option at the top of the screen.  If I can do the same task just as quickly – and sometimes quicker! – by using the keyboard, I’m all for it.

Microsoft Excel has many keyboard shortcuts, perhaps far too many to remember.  Many of these keyboard shortcuts apply to other Office applications such as Word or Outlook.  Most of the shortcuts will involve using the “Ctrl” key plus an additional key.  Several shortcuts are rather easy to remember because they combine the Ctrl key with the first letter of whatever you’re trying to do.  For example, if you want to make a word or number Bold, pressing Ctrl and “B” will do just that.  Here are a few keyboard formatting shortcuts that I use quite often:

  • Ctrl + C = Copy
  • Ctrl + V = Paste
  • Ctrl + X = Cut
  • Ctrl + Z = Undo
  • Ctrl + Y = Redo
  • Ctrl + B = Bold
  • Ctrl + I = Italicize
  • Ctrl + U = Underline
  • Ctrl + S = Save
  • Ctrl + N = New worksheet
  • Ctrl + ; = Insert today’s date (this one is very helpful, especially if you’re like me and can never remember today’s date.)

Shortcuts like these enable you to keep working without having to stop, right-click or go up to the menu to find the task you are wanting to perform.  Simply hold down Ctrl plus the appropriate key and “voila!” (“that’s French”), task done!  As mentioned previously, there is an abundance of keyboard shortcuts.  These are only a few of the more commonly used ones.  If you poke around Google long enough, you’ll probably discover that there is a keyboard shortcut for just about anything you want to do.  And if not, you can always make your own!  But that’s another tip for another day.

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6 Responses

  1. Excel is my all time favorite as well. When I was teaching K-12, I LOVED teaching Excel. Here at my current job I’m known as “the excel queen.” 🙂 My students would argue that they were going to hate Excel because they hate math. I’d explain that I also hate math and Excel does it for you. 🙂

    • Same here. I’ve taught a couple of adult Excel classes (mainly as a fundraising seminar) and enjoyed it quite a bit. Your comment is funny to me because I’m the same way – I hate math, but not only do I LOVE Excel, I work as an analyst. Go figure.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Awesome. Keep em coming.

  3. Great idea for a new series. I’m a MS Word junkie and once Microsoft changed the layout in 2007, my shortcuts went all wacky. Made me so mad. lol.

  4. […] second installment of the brand new Eskypades feature, Tuesday Tips.  Last week we looked at a few keyboard shortcuts for formatting.  Today, I’ll show you a couple of navigational […]

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