In May, we talked about some helpful uses for the Windows Logo Key on your keyboard.
This month, let’s look at the other side of the keyboard and learn about some more tricks for the arrow and other cursor control keys. These tips apply specifically to Excel, but some can also be used in other programs that are not specifically limited to rows and columns of data.
Let’s start with the four arrow keys at the bottom of this picture. Obviously, you can use them to move up, down, left and right. However, did you know about these tricks?
Hold Ctrl and press an arrow key (Ctrl+Up/Down/Left/Right) to move all the way to the top, bottom, left or right of your spreadsheet. Notice that the cursor (active cell) stays in the same row or column that you started from.
Hold Shift and press an arrow key (Shift+Up/Down/Left/Right) to extend your selection of cells one cell at a time in that direction. To do this, click in the cell where you want to start selecting, hold Shift and press an arrow key as many times as needed. For example, if you hold Shift and press the right arrow four times, then continue to hold Shift and press the down arrow 3 times, you will have a total of 20 cells selected (including the column and row you started in).
Pressing the Home key by itself, moves you to the beginning of a row in a worksheet (column A).
Hold Ctrl and press Home (Ctrl+Home) to go to the very beginning of your worksheet (cell A1).
Hold Ctrl and Shift and press Home (Ctrl+Shift+Home) to select all the cells above and to the left of the active cell all the way to, and including, cell A1.
Notice that the active cell is still the cell where you started (in the example above, it’s cell D6).
Pressing the End key by itself, when you have clicked in the formula bar, moves you to the end of the formula bar (the end of whatever is already entered in the cell). In other applications, such as Word, it will take you to the end of the line of text.
Hold Ctrl and press End (Ctrl+End) to move to the last cell on a worksheet, that is the furthest right and lowest cell of the data.
Hold Ctrl and Shift and press End (Ctrl+Shift+End) to select all the cells in your data below and to the right of the active cell.
Page Up/Page Down
Page Up moves your display up one screen at a time.
Ctrl+Page Up or Page Down moves you to the previous or next worksheet in your workbook.
Ctrl+Shift+Page Up or Page Down selects the current and previous (or next) sheet in a workbook. Note that it doe not select any specific data within those worksheets – it selects the entire worksheet, such as to print multiple worksheets.
Alt+Page Up or Page Down moves you one screen to the left or right in a worksheet.
Keep in mind that many of these keyboard shortcuts are just as easy (or sometimes easier) to do with your mouse. However, if you like to keep you hands on the keyboard, they can be faster than moving your hand to the mouse.
These are just a few shortcuts that might make it easier for you to move around your Excel workbooks and save you time.
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