Excel Shortcuts PC Mac

Cheat sheet of the most important Excel keyboard shortcuts to be familiar with

Author: Hassan Saab
Hassan Saab
Hassan Saab
Investment Banking | Corporate Finance

Prior to becoming a Founder for Curiocity, Hassan worked for Houlihan Lokey as an Investment Banking Analyst focusing on sellside and buyside M&A, restructurings, financings and strategic advisory engagements across industry groups.

Hassan holds a BS from the University of Pennsylvania in Economics.

Reviewed By: Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Private Equity | Investment Banking

Prior to becoming our CEO & Founder at Wall Street Oasis, Patrick spent three years as a Private Equity Associate for Tailwind Capital in New York and two years as an Investment Banking Analyst at Rothschild.

Patrick has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and a BA in Economics from Williams College.

Last Updated:October 6, 2023

It can initially seem hard to use shortcuts if you have been accustomed to working with the mouse, but learning these shortcuts will eventually save you a tremendous amount of time in the long run by making you more proficient in Excel. Often in finance careers, knowing the quick keys and shortcuts in Excel can be the difference between going home at 11:00 P.M. and going home at 3:00 A.M.

Although we include the shortcuts for Apple/Mac on this page, if you plan to work in investment banking or another high finance career, we strongly recommend that you purchase a PC keyboard and use parallels on your Mac to mimic a PC environment since you almost certainly will be using a PC for your work computer.

Learning the shortcuts in Mac is like learning to play the Banjo (5 strings) when you are training to be a lead guitarist (6 strings) for a famous rock band. In other words, please don’t do that for your own sanity!

Most common Excel shortcuts

One of the most common and well-known shortcuts is:

Simple Shortcut Example

Windows Common Shortcuts Mac
Ctrl + C Copy Cmd + C

This format means that you would press Ctrl (Control, or the button in the corner of your keyboard) AND C at the same time. The process for a Mac would be slightly different as you would have to press Cmd (Command, or the button next to the spacebar) AND C at the same time.

For some of the more complicated shortcuts, we will have them listed as:

Complex Shortcut Example

Windows Multi-Step Shortcuts Mac
Alt + H , A , C Center Cell Contents Across Selection Alt + H , A , C

This means that you would press Alt AND H at the same time. Then pressing A followed by C. A ‘+’ means that you would press the key before AND after it at the same time while a ‘,’ means that you press the button after it in sequence.

You may also see some shortcuts or shortcut tasks with a “/” listed between buttons or tasks. This “/” functions as an “OR” and serves to show that either button or task will work depending on the situation.

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Free Excel Shortcuts Sheet

Looking to be the fastest Excel user? Increase your speed with our free comprehensive Excel shortcut guide to accompany you for the times you wish you had one.

Benefits of Excel quick keys

One of the biggest advantages of using Excel quick keys instead of the mouse is that they allow you to be fast, productive, and efficient. Ideally, you should try to be proficient enough to use Excel with only a keyboard, and learning these shortcuts is a big step to that end.

It is not uncommon for investment banks to rigorously test their incoming analysts and associates on their Excel abilities. As time is of the essence at these banks, they expect their analysts to become so proficient in Excel that they are able to build entire financial models using just the keyboard. As the list can be intimidating at first glance, we suggest starting out by only using a few of the shortcuts at first and incorporating more as you get better at these few to gain overall mastery.

WSO's tip: Finding the shortcut you want

To quickly search the entire article for a shortcut, you can use the search function built into your browser. By pressing "Ctrl + F" (on Windows) or "Cmd + F" (on Mac) you can search the entire article for key search words.

Useful Excel Quick Keys for Windows & Mac

Please note that not every Windows shortcut has a duplicate Mac shortcut to complement it. It is also easier to find more information about shortcuts for Windows than Mac.

If you have trouble remembering the shortcuts on Mac, you can open the menus at the top of the screen and see the keyboard combinations listed next to the corresponding action. The process is similar for a Windows user, except that the shortcuts are displayed when you leave your mouse cursor hovered over the desired action. This displayed tooltip does not appear for all actions, just the more frequently used ones such as “Ctrl + S”.

Below is a reference image for Macs of the shortcut next to its respective action.


Basics & General Shortcuts For Excel Modeling

Listed below is a brief list of some of the most common shortcuts that you will encounter when using Excel. Mastering these will pave the way for your future success as well as an understanding of the more complex and complicated shortcuts. If you find yourself frequenting a shortcut or action multiple times try creating a macro for this task. Creating macros is covered further down in the article.

Basics & General Shortcuts For Excel Modeling
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Ctrl + S Save Cmd + S
Ctrl + Shift + S Save As Cmd + Shift + S
Ctrl + W Close Window Cmd + W
Ctrl + O Open Cmd + O
Ctrl + N New Cmd + N
Alt + F4 Quit Cmd + Q
Ctrl + A Select All Cmd + A
Ctrl + Z Undo Cmd + Z
Ctrl + Y Redo Cmd + Y
Ctrl + X Cut Cmd + X
Ctrl + V Paste Cmd + V
Ctrl + B Bold Cmd + B
Ctrl + P Print Cmd + P
F2 Edit Active Cell Control + U
F3 Paste Name Fn + F3

Alt + E , S


Ctrl + Alt + V

Paste Special *The following Paste Special shortcuts will also work with either of the listed Windows shortcuts, simply replace the first three actions with either version.*

Cmd + Option + V


Cmd + Control + V

Alt + E , S , V Paste Special Values (No Formatting) Cmd + Option + V , V
Alt + E , S , T Paste Special Formats Cmd + Option + V , T
Alt + E , S , F Paste Special Formulas Cmd + Option + V , F
Alt + E , S , C Paste Special Comments Cmd + Option + V , C
F4 Toggle References Cmd + T
F9 Recalculate Workbook Fn + F9
Ctrl + Shift + : Insert Time Cmd + ;
Ctrl + ; Insert Date Control + ;
Alt + Enter New Line Within Cell Option + Enter
Ctrl + F2 Print Preview Cmd + P
Alt + Tab Next Open Program Cmd + Tab
Shift + F2 Insert or Edit Comment Cmd + Shift + Fn + F2
Shift + F10 Shortcut Menu Shift + Fn + F10
  Hide / Show Ribbon Cmd + Option + R

Selection & Navigation Excel Quick Keys

Here are some shortcuts to help you select and navigate large batches of data. Not only can these shortcuts help increase the efficiency of your work, but once you gain an understanding of how to use them they can make simple Excel tasks that much easier.

Selection & Navigation Excel Quick Keys
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Ctrl + Arrow Jump to Edge Cmd + Arrow
Arrow Move Between Cells Arrow
Alt + I , R Insert Row Cmd + Shift + +
Alt + I , C Insert Column Cmd + Shift + +
Alt + E , D Delete Row / Column Cmd + -
F5 Go To

Fn + F5


Control + G

Ctrl + F Find Cmd + F
Ctrl + H Find & Replace Control + H
Shift + Tab Switch Workbooks Cmd + `
Shift + F11 Insert Worksheet Shift + Fn + F11
Ctrl + Page Up / Page Down Next / Previous Worksheet / Tab Option + Left/Right Arrow
Alt + E , L Delete Worksheet  
Alt + O , H , R Rename Worksheet  
Alt + O , H , T Recolor Worksheet  
Page Up Move Screen Up Fn + Up
Page Down Move Screen Down Fn + Down
Alt + Page Up Move Screen Left Fn + Option + Up
Alt + Page Down Move Screen Right Fn + Option + Down
Ctrl + Tab Next Workbook / Next Divider Cmd + `
Tab Next Cell Tab
Shift + Page Up Extend Selection Up One Screen Shift + Fn + Up
Shift + Page Down Extend Selection Down One Screen Shift + Fn + Down
Alt + Shift + Page Up Extend Selection Left One Screen Option + Shift + Fn + Up
Alt + Shift + Page Down Extend Selection Right One Screen Option + Shift + Fn + Down
Ctrl + Home Go To A1 Fn + Control + Left Arrow
Home Go To Row Beginning Fn + Left Arrow
End Go To Row End  
Ctrl + A Select All Used Cells Cmd + A
Ctrl + Spacebar Select Column Control + Fn + Spacebar
Shift + Spacebar Select Row Shift + Spacebar
Shift + Arrow Extend Selection Shift + Arrow
Ctrl + Shift + Home Select To A1 Control + Shift + Fn + Left Arrow
Ctrl + Shift + End Select To End Control + Shift + Fn + Right Arrow
Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Select To Last Value Cmd + Shift + Arrow

Excel Hotkeys For Formatting

Here are some shortcuts to help you format and edit the text of large batches of data. Formatting the text in your data often helps with the legibility and professionalism of the data. Mastering these shortcuts will increase the efficiency of your work and present a cohesive presentation.

Useful Excel Quick Keys For Formatting
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Ctrl + B Bold Cmd + B
Ctrl + I Italic Cmd + I
Ctrl + U Underline Cmd + U
Ctrl + D Formula Fill Down Cmd + D
Ctrl + R Formula Fill Right Cmd + R
Ctrl + 1 Open Formatting Dialogue Cmd + 1
Ctrl + Shift + 1 Autoformat Number Style Control + Shift + 1
Ctrl + Shift + 2 Autoformat Time Style Control + Shift + 2
Ctrl + Shift + 3 Autoformat Date Style Control + Shift + 3
Ctrl + Shift + 4 Autoformat Currency Style Control + Shift + 4
Ctrl + Shift + 5 Autoformat Percentage Style Control + Shift + 5
Alt + H , A , C Center Cell Contents  
Ctrl + Shift + 7 Outline Cell Cmd + Option + 0
Ctrl + Shift + - Remove Cell Border Cmd + Option + -
Alt + O , C , A Autoformat Column Width  
Alt + O , R , A Autoformat Row Height  
Alt + D , E Text To Columns  
Alt + D , F , F Filter Data Option + Down Arrow
Alt + D , S Sort Data Cmd + Shift + R
Alt + O , D Conditional Formatting  
Alt + H + F , G Increase Font Size Cmd + Shift + Arrow
Alt + H + F , K Decrease Font Size Cmd + Shift + Arrow
Alt + H , 0 Increase Decimal  
Alt + H , 9 Decrease Decimal  
Alt + H , B Borders Cmd + Option + 0
Alt + H , H Fill Colors  
Alt + H , 6 Increase Indent  
Alt + H , 5 Decrease Indent  

Best Excel Quick Keys For Data Manipulation

Here are some shortcuts to help you manipulate and control large batches of data. These shortcuts will allow you to complete tasks like grouping rows/columns at the press of a few buttons. Once you master these shortcuts you will increase your work output and be able to manipulate your data more efficiently.

Best Excel Quick Keys For Data Manipulation
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Ctrl + F3 Name Cell Cmd + Fn + F3
Alt + D , G , G Group Rows / Columns Option + Shift + Right Arrow
Alt + D , G , U Ungroup Rows / Columns Option + Shift + Left Arrow
Alt + D , G , H Hide Grouped Rows / Columns

Option + 9


Option + 0

Alt + D , G , S Show Grouped Rows / Columns

Option + Shift + 9


Option + Shift + 0

Alt + = Autosum Adjacent Cells Cmd + Option + =
Ctrl + ` Show Formula / Values Control + `

Advanced Quick Keys In Excel For Tables

Here are some advanced shortcuts to help you create data tables for your large batches of data. These shortcuts allow for the creation of pivot and data tables at the press of a few buttons. These data tables allow for a better presentation of more complex data.

Advanced Quick Keys In Excel For Tables
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Alt + D , P Open Pivot Table Wizard  
Alt + D + S Create Data Table  

Other Useful Excel Quick Keys

Here are some additional shortcuts to help you complete a wide array of different tasks with your batch of data. Some of these shortcuts allow you to trace dependents, paste special, and clear cell data. Mastering these shortcuts will allow your work to be more efficient and can help you troubleshoot your formulas.

Other Useful Excel Quick Keys
Windows Shortcut Task Mac
Alt + T , U , T Trace Precedents  
Alt + T , U , D Trace Dependents  
Alt + T , U , A Remove Precedent / Dependent Arrows  
Ctrl + [ Highlight Precedents Control + Shift + [
Ctrl + ] Highlight Dependents Control + Shift + ]
Alt + Shift + ` Show Formulas Control + `
Alt + W , F , F Freeze Panes Around Cell  
Alt + T , M , R Start / Stop Recording Macro  
Alt + T , M , M Show Macros Option + Fn + F8
Alt Ribbon Accelerator Buttons / Drive Menu Bar  
Ctrl + F1 Show / Hide Ribbon Cmd + Option + R
F5 , Alt + S , O Show All Constants  
F5 , Alt + S , C Highlight Cell Comments  
Ctrl + Shift + A Change Function Name to Function Ctrl + Shift + A
Delete Clear Cell Data Delete
Alt + H , E , F Clear Cell Formats  
Alt + H , E , M Clear Cell Comments  
Alt + H , E , A Clear All  

Excel keyboard shortcuts for financial modeling

As most of the financial models across the world are currently built on Excel, it is of utmost importance for aspiring financial professionals to learn how to maximize efficiency using these shortcuts.

The faster you get in Excel, the more assets you analyze, the more investment opportunities you uncover, which is what matters the most in the world of finance (along with presentation skills, of course). Models are frequently included as part of investor presentation documents such as pitch books and investment memos.

A tried and tested method of learning is one where the learner applies the concepts learned to real-life situations. In this case, the best way to learn Excel quick keys would be by actively applying them while working on your own financial models.

To give you a head start on applying these shortcuts, we have provided two free videos from our Financial Statements Modeling course. Check out how many shortcuts you can use while learning how to use a model for forecasting financial statements and then keep improving your personal best score. (Two birds, one stone!)

WSO Excel courses

If you are looking to build on your Excel modeling skills in general, please check out a video from our Excel modeling course. This course is designed to bring you up to speed no matter your level of experience using Excel.

Using shortcuts can shave off seconds at a time, which turn to minutes and eventually over the course of a day, hours. And you may wonder, how do I get to become so quick using shortcuts? For starters, stop using the mouse and start using that keyboard! Practice, practice, and PRACTICE!

Did you know about the WSO's Excel Challenge?

WSO's Excel Challenge is a quick excel formatting exercise we have put together to test your Excel skills. We CHALLENGE you to complete this Excel quiz in under 2 minutes or if you are really good, you may be able to get it to under 1 minute like some of our talented forum members here. If you create a video and post it to this thread on WSO, we will send out a free WSO t-shirt with your name on it, but ONLY if you have the fastest time. Every month we'll be sending out a free WSO t-shirt to the fastest recorded time. Good luck!

More on Excel

To continue your journey towards becoming an Excel wizard, check out these additional helpful WSO resources.