Keyboard Efficiency

    

In my opinion, you will never become a master of Excel until you use keyboard shortcuts. This is because in my mind, a master performs tasks the most efficient way possible. Keyboard shortcuts are the most efficient way to interact with Excel. I would not recommend memorizing all of the keyboard shortcuts because there are too many. I would however, recommend the following (also shown in this video):

1. Perform all menu commands by using the Alt key. To select a menu without using the mouse, simple hold down the Alt key and press the letter on the keyboard that is underlined in the menu name. This will pull down the menu. Again press the letter of the underlined letter for the desired menu command. You will find that you will quickly memorize frequently used menu commands and that your speed will dramatically improve.

2. Learn how to navigate within worksheets using keyboard shortcuts. The shortcuts that I like are: Control key navigation: As you know, when you press any of the arrow keys, the active cell moves one cell. For example, by pressing the right arrow, the active cell moves one cell to the right. Now, you can expand on this concept dramatically. When you hold down the control key and select any of the arrow keys, you will be moved over to the next cell that contains data. For example, if you are on cell A1, and there is no data in B1, C1 or D1, and you do have data in cell E1. By holding down the control key and pressing the right arrow, your active cell now becomes E1. This is an extremely fast way of moving around in worksheets. Also, if your active cell is currently in a range containing data and you hold down the control key and press an arrow key, your active cell will move to the last cell that has data. Shift key selecting: By holding down the shift key when pressing an arrow key, you will expand your selected range. For example, if you are in cell A1, and you hold down the shift key and press the right arrow, you will have a range selected from A1:B1. Now any commands you perform will happen to both cells. You can combine the shift key and control key to quickly move around and select cells within your worksheets. Quickly move up or down in a worksheet by using the Page Up and Page Down keys.

3. Learn how to edit text within cells using keyboard shortcuts. When you select a cell, you can press the "F2" function key and edit the formula. While you are editing the formula, you can press the right or left arrow key to move your cursor one character to the right or left. Now, if you hold the control key down and press the right or left arrow key, your cursor will move one word to the right or left. If you hold down the shift key while moving, you will extend your selected characters. To delete a character to the left of your cursor, use the backspace key. To delete a character to the right of your cursor, use the "Delete" key.

4. Learn how to move to a different worksheet within a workbook using keyboard shortcuts. If you are in a workbook with multiple worksheets, move one worksheet to the right by holding down the control key and pressing the page down key. You can move one worksheet to the left by holding down the control key and pressing the page up key.

In order to practice, force yourself to perform everything without the mouse. This will feel very awkward at first, and you will have a strong desire to reach for the mouse. Resist the urge, and ask Cippit (hit the F1 key) for some keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Efficiency