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Basic Microsoft Excel Cheat Sheet - Shortcuts and Tips for Convenience and Efficiency

written by: Jesma•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/10/2009

There are some basic keyboard shortcuts, functions, and formulas that every Microsoft Excel user needs to know. This Microsoft Excel Cheatsheet is a reference for learning shortcuts and basic functions of Excel, to make it more convenient and make you more efficient.

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    Most Commonly Used Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

    Microsoft Excel Cheatsheet reference guide...

    Microsoft Excel Cheat Sheet Selecting

    Ctrl + Spacebar - Selects the entire column in a worksheet.

    Shift + Spacebar - Selects the entire row in a worksheet.

    Copy and Paste

    Ctrl + C - Copy selected text.

    Ctrl + V - Paste copied text.

    Ctrl + Alt + V - Opens Paste Special dialogue box.

    Ctrl + D - Uses Fill Down function to copy contents and formatting of top cell to selected cells below.


    Ctrl + 1 - Format Cells dialogue box.

    Ctrl + Z - Undo

    Ctrl + Y - Redo

    Ctrl + F2 - Print Preview

    Ctrl + F - Find and Replace dialogue box

    Alt + Shift + F1 - Inserts new worksheet.


    Ctrl + Home - Returns to cell A-1

    Ctrl + End - Moves to the last used cell in the worksheet.

    Function Keys

    F1 - Help

    F2 - Edits active cell, puts insertion cursor at end of cell contents.

    F4 - Repeat last command or action.

    F7 - Spellcheck

    F11 - Creates a chart of data in the current selected range.

    F12 - Save As...

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    Formula Components Explained

    Cell Expressions

    Name of a Cell - Examples: A10 (Column A, Row 10), or F36 (Column F, Row 36)

    Multiple Individual Cells - Examples: A9,G22 (Cell A9 and G22), or B12, Z24,AA13 (Cells B12, Z24, and AA13)

    Cell Ranges - Examples: C11:C95 (Cells in column C and rows 11-95), or D14:H22 (cells in columns D through H, and cells 14-22)

    Formula Writing - All formulas begin with "=", include a function like SUM, and a range of cells. Example: =SUM(A12:A27) will display the sum of all numbers in rows 12-27 in column A.

    More Excel Formula tips and tricks.

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    Common Excel Math Functions

    Average - Finds the average value of the selected range. Example: =Average(A2:C14)

    Count - Returns the number of cells that contain numbers. Example: If you had numbers in cells A1, A2, and A6 and words in cells A3, A4, and A5, you could use the formula =Count(A1:A6) and it would return 3, since three of the cells in the range are number contents.

    Max - Finds the largest value in the selected range. Example: =Max(B2:B88) would find the highest number in that range and display it.

    Min - Finds the smallest value in the selected range. Example: =Min(B2:B88) would find the lowest number in that range and display it.

    Product - Multiplies numbers in the selected range and returns the answer. Example: =Product(B4,B5) would multiply the values in cells B4 and B5 and display the product.

    Sum - Adds the values in the selected range and returns the answer: Example: =Sum(B4,B5) would add the values of B4 and B5 and return the sum.

    Trunc - Truncates the number in the selected cell to the designated number of decimal spaces. Example =Trunc(B7, 2) where B7=36.251 would return the value 36.25. =Trunc(B7, -1) would return the value 30.

    More useful Excel Functions explained.