Join OfficeTipsAndMethods

Have some suggestions to share with the world?

Join OfficeTipsAndMethods and share your insight in a Comment. You must be a member to comment and all comments are moderated before being published. Membership is free and we would never share your personal information with anyone.

Become an OTM Member

Log In

YouTube Video Channel
Article Categories

Posts Tagged ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’

Five Essential Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Some keyboard shortcuts are designed to enhance your productivity in specific applications. Here are five that have long been my favourites in Excel.



Insert the current date. The inserted date will remain the same; it does not update when Excel recalculates formulas.


Insert the current time. The inserted time will remain the same; it does not update when Excel recalculates formulas.


Move the selection to the beginning of the worksheet. Cell A1 becomes the active cell. Note: if freeze panes is in effect, the shortcut behaves a little differently, making the top left cell of the lower right quadrant active. If Row 1 contains the header of a structured table, <ctrl>HOME will select cell A2 rather than A1.


Selects the cell at the lower right corner of the portion of the worksheet that has actual contents.


When entering formulas, make a cell reference absolute. Each time you press F4 when you are entering a formula the absolute reference changes from Absolute Cell or Range to Absolute Row/Relative Column to Absolute Column/Relative Row to Relative Cell or Range

Links for the technically inclined:

Announcing the Microsoft Cloud Roadshow

This is a free, two day technical training event for IT Professionals and Developers that provides best practices and insight from those who run cloud services across Office 365, Micros oft Azure, and Windows 10.

Developer Interview Series #1 –

The Power of Cross Platform Development with Universal Apps and Xamarin

In this interview series, we bring you best practices, anecdotes, and insights from developers who are building creative solutions using Microsoft technologies.

We’re on the road to self-driving business applications

A blog by Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer on self-driving ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software)

Memory Compression in Windows 10 RTM

The OS is doing some clever optimizations that allow your processes to trim some of the memory but not necessarily page it out to disk.

Managing hidden apps, beta apps and visibility of in-app purchases in Dev Center

The unified Dev Center introduced several new options to manage the visibility of apps and in-app purchase.

Five Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

ShortcutTrying to learn keyboard shortcuts can be intimidating; there are just so many. Like most problems, however, you can overcome the problem by breaking it down to bite-sized chunks. So if you haven’t been using keyboard shortcuts, start by learning and using just these five. Chances once you have used them only a few times, they will become second nature. Remember that some keyboard shortcuts require a combination of keys. That means you press and hold the first (second, and third, in some cases) and tap the last. As you will see, frequently the key to use makes logical sense but sometimes it doesn’t.

<ctrl>A Select the entire document
<ctrl>X Cut the selected content or object(s)
<ctrl>C Copy the selected content or object(s)
<ctrl>V Paste what you have cut or copied
<ctrl>Z Undo the last action you did

These particular keyboard shortcuts (and many more, actually) have a consistent Beachmeaning throughout the Windows world. Whether you are working with a Word Document, an Excel Workbook, a PowerPoint Presentation, any other Office document, or Windows (File) Explorer, you use the same keyboard shortcuts.

Why bother learning these or other keyboard shortcuts? It’s all about time. To be sure, the time you save by using a keyboard shortcut once is insignificantly brief. But these shortcuts do things that you do frequently and repeatedly whenever you are working on your computer. Think of those tiny slivers of time as grains of sand on a beach. Save enough of them any you will have time for a beach vacation.

Links for the technically inclined:

Announcing the Biggest VM Sizes Available in the Cloud: New Azure GS-VM Series

Important announcement in Azure space


Announcing VP9 support coming to Microsoft Edge

New feature for Microsoft Edge


Unity 5.2 and Visual Studio Tools for Unity 2.1

Visual Studio is the new default Unity scripting editor on Windows


Announcing the Microsoft Azure Tour

The Microsoft Azure Tour is a free one day technical training event for developers and IT professionals to help you achieve more success with Azure.


Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Online

Blog on the integration with Git


Excel Function Key Shortcuts

I resisted learning and using keyboard shortcuts for more years than I care to admit. In recent years, however, I have come to appreciate just how valuable keyboard shortcuts can be in Excel and almost any other application you can name. The Blog ExcelTip has just published a detailed article about Function Key Shortcuts that is definitely worth a read if your are interested in expanding your shortcut key horizon.

OneNote Shortcuts

A Fortunate Accident

I was writing a OneNote page when suddenly the page took on an appearance that I had never use. It had lines and a red margin, just like a ‘scribbler’ page. 



Instinct told me that I had somehow triggered a keyboard shortcut, one that might prove useful in the future. That set me to digging in to OneNote keyboard shortcuts. My search led me to this site (for OneNote 2010) and this one (for OneNote 2013).

It didn’t take long to identify the shortcut I had accidentally triggered (<shift><ctrl>R). Like many shortcuts this one is a toggle so that by keying <shift><ctrl>R again (deliberately this time) the margin and lines disappeared. Problem solved and I had added a new item to add to my personal bag of tricks. By the same token, some shortcuts apply only to a specific application.

Shortcuts – the Road Less Travelled

I didn’t used to be a shortcut fan. Until a few years ago, I quickly turned my attention to other things whenever the topic came up whether in something I was reading at the time or in personal discussions. After all, learning anything involves personal effort and time and I had more important things to do and little enough time to do them in. Happy in my ignorance, I completely missed the point that investing a tiny amount of time in learning shortcut pays a huge dividing in time saved, time that becomes available for other, more ‘important’ tasks.

I suspect that many computer users, especially those who have been using personal computers for a relatively short time take the same ‘path of least resistance’ that I allowed myself to be caught by. In their defense, the learning curve for a new user can be overwhelming. It is difficult enough to learn and remember what to do without taking on the additional burden of learning shortcuts. Besides, for a computer newcomer, there is no apparent benefit for investing the time involved.

Nevertheless, one aspects of shortcuts does help to ease the learning curve. Many shortcuts are, at least in the Windows world virtually universal. That means that you have only to learn them once to be able to use them ‘everywhere.’

A Selected Few OneNote Shortcuts

This list is by no means comprehensive. It contains a small sampling of shortcuts that I find useful on a daily basis. Some are useful throughout the Windows world; others are specific to OneNote. Shortcuts are associated with keyboard keystrokes. Some use just a single key, others a combination of two keys pressed together, still others a combination of three keys pressed together. In most case you position the cursor or select the portion of text to which you want to apply the shortcut

‘Universal Shortcuts’



Undo the last action <ctrl>z
Redo the last action <ctrl>y
Move cursor one character to the right <right arrow>
Move cursor one character to the left <left arrow>
Move to the next paragraph <ctrl><down arrow>
Move to the previous paragraph <ctrl><up arrow>
Scroll to the top of the current page <ctrl><home>
Scroll to the end of the current page <ctrl><end>
Scroll up in the current page <page up>
Scroll down in the current page <page down>
Cut the selected text or item <ctrl>c
Copy the selected text or item <ctrl>x
Paste cut or copied text or item <ctrl>v


OneNote Specific Shortcuts



Copy the formatting of selected text <ctrl><shift>c
Paste the formatting of selected text <ctrl><shift>v
Apply or remove yellow highlight from selected text <ctrl><shift>h
Apply or remove strikethrough from selected text <ctrl><shift>-
Apply or remove superscript from selected text <ctrl><shift>=
Apply or remove subscript from selected text <ctrl>=
Apply or remove bulleted list formatting from selected text <ctrl>.
Apply or remove numbered list formatting from selected text <ctrl>/
Right align a paragraph <ctrl>r
Left align a paragraph <ctrl>l
Go back to the last page visited <alt><left arrow>
Go forward to the next page visited <alt><right arrow>
Insert the current date <alt><shift>d
Insert the current time <alt><shift>t
Insert the current date and time <alt><shift>f
Apply, mark, or clear the To Do tag <ctrl>1
Apply of clear the Important tag <ctrl>2
Apply or clear the Question tag <ctrl>3
Remove all tags from the selected text <ctrl>0


This list contains but a selected few OneNote shortcuts. The best way to learn these and other shortcuts is simply to start using them

For a more comprehensive collection of OneNote shortcuts visit this page: Shortcut World.

A few of my favourite (Excel) things

Perhaps not as sensually satisfying as raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but when it comes to Excel, these are a few of my favourite things:

  • autofill

Quickly copy formulas or create a series of months, days, quarters, or other custom series.

  • cell and range names

Use cell or range names to make formulas easier to understand at a glance.

  • templates

Stop re-inventing the wheel when you need new workbooks to handle data with tried and true formulas and layouts

  • lookup functions

Reduce the amount of repetitive data in your workbook

  • absolute references

Make it easier (and faster) to copy formulas that need to refer to the same value regardless of where you copy them to

  • 3-D formulas

Create a worksheet to summarize data from detail worksheets using simple formulas.

  • header and footer improvements (Excel 2007)

Custom headers and footers made a giant step forward with Excel 2007

  • tables (Excel 2007)

Although the table concept is not new with Excel 2007, this version has added some amazing enhancements to tables.

  • keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts were absolutely essential in DOS days. They may not be essential in today’s mouse-based graphical user interface but they are as useful as ever.

    • date and time
    • copy cell data
    • paste
    • cut
    • undo
    • display formulas or their results
    • draw borders (ctrl-Shift-7)


  • custom sort order

For values that you want to put in order in a non-standard way

  • custom number formats

For those numbers that are not numbers (you know – values like telephone or serial numbers that you would never ‘do’ math on.)

Watch for these and other articles in the coming weeks. If you have other favourite Excel things, drop me a note and tell me what they are and why you like them?