Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Accountants

Excel can be a complete minefield. There's a function for this, a formula for that. You can be a while trying to figure out how to get things done.

You don't need to be an Excel expert to increase efficiency and save time, however. Learning keyboard shortcuts can greatly improve your productivity when working with spreadsheets.

In this bite, learn some of the most useful Excel keyboard shortcuts for accountants.

TIP: The shortcuts featured in this bite are widely used but not all shortcuts are applicable to all keyboards, eg keyboards in different languages, Mac keyboards, etc. Different versions of Excel may also require different shortcuts.

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How often do you use keyboard shortcuts in Excel?

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Hearing about shortcuts for the first time? Shortcuts expert? Whatever the case, scroll through some useful Excel keyboard shortcuts and then share your favourites to earn a bit of CPD.

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Insert charts

Ever wanted to insert a chart into your workbook to visualise your profit growth? Simply select the cells containing the data that you would like to visualise and press F11.

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Spell check

More often than not, spreadsheets contain elements of text. You can run a spell check on your worksheet by pressing F7.

TIP: If you use text boxes in Excel, you must perform a spell check in each text box and not on the worksheet.

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SUM

The most commonly used formula in Excel is SUM. In fact, it is the only formula in Excel to have its own keyboard shortcut: Alt+=.

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Format currency

Working in finance often requires you to format values in a certain currency. You can apply the currency format to a cell or range of selected cells by pressing Ctrl+Shift+4. The currency selected by Excel will be the default currency setting for your region.

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Select entire rows or columns

To select an entire row, press Shift+Spacebar.

To select an entire column, press Ctrl+Spacebar.

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Switch between different worksheets and workbooks

Accountants often work with multiple workbooks open and multiple worksheets in each workbook. Navigation can be aided with the use of keyboard shortcuts…

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  • To switch to the next worksheet in a workbook, press Ctrl+PgUp.
  • To switch to the previous worksheet, press Ctrl+PgDn.
  • To toggle between different workbooks, press Ctrl+Tab.
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View formulas

Sometimes it is necessary to view the formula in a cell rather than the value returned by the formula. You can quickly toggle between viewing the cell value and the cell formula by pressing Ctrl+`.

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There are many more keyboard shortcuts available in Excel.

Which Excel shortcuts do you find most useful in your role as an accountant or finance professional? Share your tips with other users of this bite!

New to shortcuts? Which of the above will you find helpful?

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  1. Iryna M
    Posted 23-Aug-2019 at
    Very helpful. Definitely something i will be using!
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  2. Bhabhindar C
    Posted 20-Aug-2019 at
    I don't use may shortcuts but will use sum Alt+= which looks very useful.
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  3. Amy P
    Posted 16-Aug-2019 at
    I regularly use shortcuts in my role. The ones I use most frequently are those shown above for SUM and to select the entire column or row. I also use Ctrl + + or Ctrl + - to insert or delete columns and rows and also Ctrl + D to copy the value in the cell above. Ctrl + : to enter the current date I also find useful.
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  4. Denise C
    Posted 15-Aug-2019 at
    I use most of the shortcuts mentioned in this bite but the Currency one is new so i'll definitely be using that from now on.
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  5. Ritul P
    Posted 15-Aug-2019 at
    most useful would be to sum the equation
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  6. Katin T
    Posted 15-Aug-2019 at
    I use most of them, but short cut ( Ctrl + Shift + 4 ) for format currency is new to me.
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  7. Anne-marie D
    Posted 13-Aug-2019 at
    Love the one to toggle between workbooks. Will find lots of these really handy
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  8. Sarah T
    Posted 09-Aug-2019 at
    Love shortcuts! Will use them all I hope
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  9. Samantha G
    Posted 06-Aug-2019 at
    I use the shortcut to toggle between workbooks all the time as often have 3 or 4 on the go. I wasn't aware of the ctrl & page up/down function though so will definitely use that now! I knew how to check formulae within a workbook and do use that. I wasn't aware of the currency but unlikely to use that as my cashflow is multi currency anyway.
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  10. Iuliia I
    Posted 04-Aug-2019 at
    Ctrl X, Ctrl G - to follow the link from formula in one cell to cells with references, Ctrl G - go backwards from reference cells to basic cells
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