12 easy Excel keyboard shortcuts all school counselors should know

MAY 2018
Anthony M. Wagner
Excel Yourself
If you want to save time, use keyboard shortcuts. Period.

Proof? According to Brainscape, keyboard shortcuts could save you as much as EIGHT DAYS PER YEAR.

If you, like most working professioanls, spend most of your day in front of a computer, you need to start now.

Here are 12 absolutely essential shortcuts you need to learn today:

Download our free, handy guide!

We put all of these shortcuts into a handy infographic. Print it out and keep it at your desk for quick reference!

Don’t know how to use keyboard shortcuts?

Read my full post on keyboard shortcuts here: https://excelyourself.org/2018/04/how-to-use-keyboard-shortcuts/

Or, watch this short video:


1. Cut, copy, paste

Okay, this is technically 3 shortcuts. But they’re all related, so I grouped them together.

These allow you to move and copy data with ease.

If you don’t learn any others, LEARN AND USE THESE THREE!

  • Windows
    • Cut: CTRL + X
    • Copy: CTRL + C
    • Paste: CTRL + V
  • Mac
    • Cut: CMD + X
    • Copy: CMD + C
    • Paste: CMD + V

2. Undo, redo

Okay, another group. Still related, though!

These allow you to step back and forward through your recent actions.

  • Windows
    • Undo: CTRL + Z
    • Redo: CTRL + Y
  • Mac
    • Undo: CMD + Z
    • Redo: CMD + Y

3. Bold, italic, underline

Just like the title says, these allow you to quickly bold, italicize, and underline text.

  • Windows
    • Bold: CTRL + B
    • Italic: CTRL + I
    • Underline: CTRL + U
  • Mac
    • Bold: CMD + B
    • Italic: CMD + I
    • Underline: CMD + U

4. Select all

This shortcut allows you to select all of the data on your worksheet.

If you use it while clicked into a block of data, it will select that block.

If you use it for a second time, it will select the whole worksheet.

  • Windows: CTRL + A
  • Mac: CMD + A

5. Insert a row / column

An amazing shortcut that does what it says.

Simply highlight the row above or the column to the right of where you want to insert, and then hit:

  • Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + = (also written CTRL + [control, plus])
  • Mac: CMD + SHIFT+ = (also written CMD + + [command, plus])

6. Delete a row / column

Highlight the row / column you want to delete, and then hit:

  • Windows: CTRL + – (control, minus)
  • Mac: CMD + – (command, minus)

7. Insert current date

If you frequently enter the date, this one is for you:

  • Windows: CTRL + ; (control, semicolon)
  • Mac: CMD + ; (command, semicolon)

8. Insert current time

If you frequently enter the time, this one is for you:

  • Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + ; (also written CTRL + : [control, colon])
  • Mac: CMD + SHIFT + ; (also written CMD + : [command, colon])

9. Repeat last action

If you’re repeating the same data entry, formatting, etc. over and over, try this one.

  • Windows: CTRL + Y
  • Mac: CMD + Y

You might notice that it’s the same shortcut as Redo. This one works as long as your last action wasn’t undo.

10. Edit cell

Instead of having to double click into a cell, you can enter edit mode without moving your hands.

  • Windows: F2
  • Mac: F2

Caution! You might have to use the FN (function) key on your keyboard if F2 is behind another action. For instance, on my keyboard, F2 is also the volume down button. I have to hit FN + F2 for this to work.

11. Convert data to a table

If you use tables (read: you should be using tables), this is a lightning-fast way to create them.

First, click any cell in you block of data. Then, hit:

  • Windows: CTRL + T
  • Mac: CMD + T

12. Toggle filters on/off

If you use sorting and filtering, it can be a giant pain to have to use the ribbon to turn them on and off. This shortcut does that for you.

Be sure you’re clicked into a cell within your data block. Then, hit:

  • Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + L
  • Mac: CMD + SHIFT + L

If you use this two times in a row, you can unfilter your data!

Bonus! How to move columns with a shortcut!

Watch this quick video to see how to move columns around effortlessly:

Download our free, handy guide!

We put all of these shortcuts into a handy infographic. Print it out and keep it at your desk for quick reference!

What’s next?

Here are three of our latest posts we think you’ll like:

FREE! The Ultimate Excel Cheat Sheet for School Counselors

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