Microsoft Excel is one of the most versatile programs within the Microsoft Office suite. If you are self taught and have not had any basic excel training you may not be aware of the many shortcuts available within the application. This article will provide some tips and highlight some of the many useful keyboard shortcuts to make it even quicker and easier to use.

Here are a few simple tips to make using Excel easier:

Copying content from Word
When you want to copy content from a Word document or a Web page into Excel, and you want that content to have the same formatting as what is in your spreadsheet already, double-click on the cell before pasting in the contents.

Changing rows into columns
To change rows into columns or vice versa follow the steps below:
  • Select the row or column you want to change

  • Press CTRL+C to copy it or CTRL+X to cut it

  • Put the cursor in the top cell where you want to transpose the contents

  • In the edit menu select PasteSpecial and then select Transpose.

Basic calculations without entering formulas
The AutoCalc tool in Excel will give you the results of some basic functions without you having to spend time entering formulas. If you highlight a group of figures the sum of these figures will be displayed towards the bottom right hand corner of the screen. By right clicking on this sum you have the choice of having displayed several other basic functions. The list of functions available is Average, Count, CountNums, Max, Min and Sum.

Line breaks within a single cell
When entering multiple times of text, for example an address, within a single cell you want to be able to control where the line breaks appear within this text. Pressing enter at the end of a line will just take you to the next cell down and using wrap text in combination with pressing the spacebar is very time consuming and will need correcting if you adjust the width of the cell. The easiest way to achieve this it to type the first line of text and then press ALT+ENTER. This will force an end of line at that point without taking you to the next cell.

The keyboard can often work faster than the mouse and using it can be preferable when you're in the middle of performing a number of keystrokes and don't want to waste time trying to lay your hands on the mouse.

Here is a list of quick keyboard shortcuts. Rather than trying to remember them all, why not just concentrate on the ones that you use on a regular basis.

Copying, Pasting and Deleting
Copy value from cell above CTRL+SHIFT+"
Delete to end of line CTRL+DEL
Paste CTRL+V

Border lines off CTRL+SHIFT+_
Border lines on CTRL+SHIFT+&
Underline CTRL+U

Moving within worksheets
Move left one screen ALT+PAGEUP
Move right one screen ALT+PAGEDOWN
Move to beginning of worksheet CTRL+HOME
Move to end of worksheet CTRL+END

Selecting items
Select to beginning of worksheet CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
Select to end of worksheet CTRL+SHIFT+END
Select worksheet CTRL+A

More tips
For even more tips, please visit the hints and tips page.