Obscure Shortcut Keys And Mouse Clicks
Excel is certainly no slouch when it comes to user interface elements. You can right-click on just about anything, and you'll get a shortcut menu that often contains the command you're looking for. And, of course, it supports dozens of shortcut key combinations.
Most of the shortcut keys are documented, but the typical user probably knows 5-6 of them. Following are some of the more obscure user-interface elements in Excel.
- Shift+F10 displays the shortcut menu for a cell or range selection (equivalent to right-clicking the cell or range).
- Select a range of data, and press F11 (or Alt+F1) for an instant chart.
- To toggle between normal view and formula view, press Ctrl+` (that's the key that displays the ~ symbol).
- Right-click the Excel icon in the menu bar (to the left of the File menu), and you'll get the same shortcut menu that appears when you right-click a workbook's title bar (which is not visible if the workbook is maximized). Included on this menu is the very-handy View Code command -- which takes you to the ThisWorkbook code module. (Contributed by Bob Umlas)
- You're probably familiar with the "VCR" navigational controls to the left of the row of sheet tabs. But have you ever right-clicked on those controls? Try it. You'll get a handy menu of all sheets in the workbook. Click and sheet name, and you're there!
- If you press Shift and click either of the inner VCR navigational controls, the sheet tabs will scroll a screen's worth of tabs at a time. (Contributed by Bob Umlas)
- Most people know about the F5 key (equivalent to Edit - Go To), which brings up the Go To dialog box. This is used to go to a named range. You can also type a cell reference (such as AZ902) into the Reference box and click OK to go directly to that cell.
- If you're a VBA programmer, you might be interested in the fact that you can also type a VBA procedure name in the Go To dialog's Reference box. Click OK, and the VB Editor will be activated, and the cursor will be at the first statement in the procedure. (Contributed by Bob Umlas)
- In the Define Name dialog box (Insert - Name Define), the Refers to box can be very frustrating. Say you want to edit the reference... When you press an arrow key, the cell reference changes! To get into normal "edit" mode in the Refers to box, press F2 first. Then you can edit the range reference using standard techniques.
- If you use the "move selection after enter" setting (Tools - Options, Edit tab), you can override this by using Ctrl+Enter. The cell cursor won't change when you have a single cell selected. Also, you can use Shift+Enter to make the cursor move in the opposite direction. (Contributed by Bob Umlas)
- You've probably noticed that the status bar displays the sum of the
selected cells. But many people haven't discovered that right-clicking the
status bar lets you change the function that's applied to the selected range.
(Contributed by Andy Brown)
- While we're on the topic of right-clicking... In Excel 2000 and later, right-clicking a worksheet's scrollbar displays another shortcut menu that contains substitute commands for scrolling a sheet. As far as I can tell, these shortcuts are worthless. By the time you right-click and make your choice from the shortcut menu, you could have done your scrolling directly. Or maybe I'm missing something.
Excel is a complex program, and has been around for a long time. Consequently, it has many obscure nooks and crannies to discover. Some of them are described here.
Keep in mind that some versions of Excel are odder than others. In other words, the things described here may not apply to all versions of Excel.
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