Cell, formatting, and shortcut keys

Cell, formatting, and shortcut keys


  • Every worksheet is made up of thousands of rectangles, which are called cells.
  • A cell is the intersection of a row and a column. In other words, it’s where a row and column meet.
  • Columns are identified by letters (A, B, C), while rows are identified by numbers (1, 2, 3).
  • Each cell has its own name—or cell address—based on its column and row. In the example below, the selected cell intersects column C and row 5, so the cell address is C5.


Cell Ranges

  • You can also select multiple cells at the same time.
  • A group of cells is known as a cell range.
  • Rather than a single cell address, you will refer to a cell range using the cell addresses of the first and last cells in the cell range, separated by a colon.
  • For example, a cell range that included cells A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8 would be written as A1:A8.


Working with Cells

  • Try creating the table below

  • With the table that was created, try the actions below

    • Copy paste some cells
    • Copy paste some ranges
    • Delete some cells
    • Delete a row
    • Delete a column


Working with Cells – Formatting

  • With the table that was created, try the actions below

    • Change the font
    • Change the font size
    • Change the font color
    • Change the background color
    • Change the text alignment

  • Try changing the borders for some cells, ranges


Format Painter

  • If you want to copy formatting from one cell to another, you can use the Format Painter command on the Home tab.
  • When you click the Format Painter, it will copy all of the formatting from the selected cell.
  • You can then click and drag over any cells where you want to paste the formatting.


Useful shortcuts

  • Ctrl + N : Create a new workbook.
  • Ctrl + O : Open an existing workbook.
  • Ctrl + S : Save the active workbook.
  • F12 Save the active workbook under a new name, displays the Save as dialog box.
  • Ctrl + W : Close the active workbook.
  • Ctrl + C : Copy the contents of the selected cells to Clipboard.
  • Ctrl + X : Cut the contents of the selected cells to Clipboard.
  • Ctrl + V : Insert the contents of the Clipboard into the selected cell(s).
  • Ctrl + Z : Undo your last action. 
  • Ctrl + P : Open the “Print” dialog.
  • Ctrl + 1 : Open the “Format Cells” dialog.
  • Tab : Autocomplete the function name
  • Ctrl + ` : Toggle between displaying cell values and formulas.
  • Ctrl + ‘ : Insert the formula of the above cell into the currently selected cell or the Formula Bar.
  • F2 : Edit the current cell.
  • Alt + Enter : In cell editing mode, enter a new line (carriage return) into a cell.
  • Ctrl + ; : Enter the current date. 
  • Ctrl + Shift + ; : enter the current time.
  • Ctrl + Enter : Fill the selected cells with the contents of the current cell.
  • Ctrl + Y : Repeat / Redo the last action, if possible.
  • Ctrl + A : Select the entire worksheet. If the cursor is currently placed within a table, press once to select the table, press one more time to select the whole worksheet.
  • Ctrl + Home then Ctrl + Shift + End : Select the entire range of your actual used data on the current worksheet.
  • Ctrl + Space : Select the entire column.
  • Shift + Space : Select the entire row.


Try it out!

  • Try out as much of the shortcut keys as you could.
  • Which ones don’t make much sense at this point?
  • Which ones do you feel that you will be using a lot?
  • Which ones intuitively make sense?