Excel Shortcuts

Excel Shortcuts

By Rickard Wärnelid

Wednesday 11th May 2011

In the world of financial modelling, you simply cannot survive without Excel keyboard shortcuts. To assist Excel users, Mazars has compiled a list of productivity increasing Excel shortcuts.

In financial modelling, there are certain operations that we need to perform time and time again. Without a thorough understanding of the different Excel keyboard shortcuts available to us we are forced to rely on our mouse, which makes us work slower, compared to performing the same tasks using keyboard shortcuts. Using shortcuts helps increase modelling productivity, save time and therefore money.

  1. Select Area/All [Ctrl+A]. This is useful when you want to select either the entire sheet or the “current area” (for example, an entire area). If you are currently located somewhere on the worksheet (but not inside an area), then Ctrl+A will select the entire worksheet. However, if you are somewhere inside an area, then that entire area will be selected.
  2. Bold [Ctrl+B], Italics [Ctrl+I], Underline [Ctrl+U]. Using any of this is a quick way to apply basic formatting. However, for more control and consistency, we’d recommend the use of styles (see below).
  3. Cut [Ctrl+X], Copy [Ctrl+C], Paste [Ctrl+P]. These are used if you wish to cut/copy/paste cells. It can be useful to firstly select an area using Ctrl+A, and then cut/copy and paste this area elsewhere.
  4. Undo [Ctrl+Z], Redo [Ctrl+Y]. Undo is a very commonly used functionality because it enables us to revert the model back to an earlier state.
  5. Find [Ctrl+F], Replace [Ctrl+H]. Using these shortcuts automatically brings up the Find or Replace dialog boxes, which is useful when you want to find a particular text in an Excel spreadsheet.

Top five Excel keyboard shortcuts to increase productivity

  1. Filling across columns/rows [Ctrl+Shift+Right/Down then Ctrl+Right/Down]. It’s amazing how many people still fill across a row by copying the cell, then clicking and dragging across right/down and pasting. Using shortcuts is much faster. In this case, we are faced with two choices. Suppose you want to copy formulae down. To do this, you’d firstly need to select the appropriate area (Ctrl+Shift+Down) and then fill the formulae down (Ctrl+Down). If we wish to fill cells to the right, we would use the exact same steps, except that we would replace the Down arrow key by the Right arrow key.
  2. Select row [Shift+Space], select column [Ctrl+Space]. Useful for times when we want to select an entire row or column.
  3. Styling [Alt+’]. This combination brings up the styles dialog box, which is useful to help us quickly apply styles to our models.
  4. Go to the end of the worksheet [Ctrl+End]. This shortcut enables us to go to the end of the worksheet and is useful for determining whether a file size is padded out by unnecessary cells.
  5. Spell check [F7]. Amazing how many models we get which have basic spelling errors!

Working efficiently in Excel is important to make the most out of the world’s #1 tool for business analysis. Our Excel training course, The Excel Diploma, covers a vast range of functionality and efficiency techniques ranging from LOOKUP/VLOOKUP/HLOOKUP and clarifying how to use NPV and IRR.

Here are some external links to articles about Excel shortcuts:

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