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Microsoft Excel: Use Shift Key To Reverse Popular Toolbar Icons

written by: Mr Excel•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 7/10/2008

Problem: Your company makes you travel with an antique laptop that has only a low-resolution display. In order to see more than 10 rows in Excel, Excel’s default displays the Standard and Formatting toolbars on one line. Now you can only see about 18 of the popular toolbar icons, shown in Fig. 112.

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    If you use the >> icon to find a hidden icon, you will bring this icon back to the visible set and knock another icon off the toolbar.

    Strategy: Many of Excel’s icons are redundant. There is one icon to increase decimals and another one icon to decrease decimals, as shown in Fig. 113. These toolbar icons do the opposite action from each other. By holding down the Shift key while using either icon, you can cause Excel to do the reverse action.

    Press the Increase Decimal icon and the number of decimal places shown

    will increase, as shown in Fig. 114.

    Hold down the Shift key and press the Increase Decimal icon and the number of decimals will decrease! Fig. 115 shows what you get after holding down Shift and pressing Increase Decimal twice. Provided that you can remember the Shift key trick, you don’t need the Decrease Decimal icon on the toolbar.

    Additional Details: The Shift key works with the following icons:

    • Sort Ascending and Descending

    • Align Left and Right

    • Decrease and Increase Indent

    You can Sort Descending by holding down Shift while using the Sort Ascending button, as shown in Fig. 116. Align Left and Align Right can be reversed using the Shift key, as shown in Fig. 117.

    Using the Shift key can also reverse the Decrease and Increase Indent, as shown in Fig. 118.

    Summary: Knowing which toolbar icons can be reversed will allow you to avoid hunting for the opposite icon in the infrequently used icon area. Or, you can customize your toolbars to remove one of each pair of redundant icons.

    Commands Discussed: Increase and Decrease Decimal; Sort Ascending and Descending; Align Left and Right; Increase and Decrease Indent

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    Fig. 112Fig. 113Fig. 114Fig. 115Fig. 116Fig. 117Fig. 118