Neil Barrett

Do You Know The Shortcut?

Or are you still taking the long route ...

Posted on: 05/08/2013   By: Neil Barrett

Do you like to use shortcuts? I do. The wonderful thing about most computer programmes is that there are shortcuts to most functions, making things quicker and easier for the user. This month I'm going to share some useful keyboard shortcuts for Excel users ...

If you got paid the same, whether you worked for eight hours or just one, wouldn't you look for some shortcuts?

If you got paid the same, whether you worked for eight hours or just one, wouldn't you look for some shortcuts?

For those of you who don't use shortcuts, I would highly recommend that you give them a try as they can save you a lot of time.

The workers in the Parable of The Vineyard all received the same reward whether they worked for 8 hours or just the one. In the same way, whether you use the shortcuts or not you will still end up with a completed document, but you can move onto other things if you get it done quicker.

Most people know about the usual ones, although I have come across people that don't know all of these ones:

  • Ctrl N - New

  • Ctrl S - Save

  • Ctrl P - Print

  • Ctrl C - Copy

  • Ctrl X - Cut

  • Ctrl V - Paste

  • Ctrl B - Bold

  • Ctrl U - Underline

  • Ctrl I - Italics

In addition to those there are some additional nifty little shortcuts in Excel!

For instance, if you are inserting the current date or time, did you know that there is a keyboard shortcut to do that for you? To insert the current date press Ctrl and the :; key. To insert the current time press Ctrl and Shift and the :; key.

For those of you who use Format Cells - which I highly recommend so that you're not constantly having to change the format of dates, currency etc in columns - highlight the column you wish to format and then press Ctrl and 1. (Genie Jenny was excited to learn this one!!)

Another handy hint is to press F2 - or double click on a cell - to allow you to edit existing text in that cell, to save you having to mouse click in the Formula Bar to amend it. Or completely overtype it with the correct information which I know some people out there do!

And finally, if you make a mistake (which inevitably happens!) . click on Ctrl Z to Undo. If you undo accidentally or change your mind you can Ctrl Y to redo what you just undid!

It may not seem like much but you can save a significant amount of time by keeping your hands on the keyboard and manipulating the document that way. As busy business owners we know that time is money - so if we can get the same work completed in 30 mins rather than an hour then surely we should try it even it feels unnatural at first.

There were complaints from the Vineyard workers who had slogged all day because if they had known they would get the same pay for less hours then they might have started later on. Time management is not just about being focussed and not procrastinating it is also about being more efficient in tasks.

If you'd like more handy hints to improve your knowledge of Excel, give Keba Computer Services a call to arrange some 1-2-1 bespoke training. In just a couple of hours we can show you how to get the most out of Excel and save yourself time.

Until next time ...


More about Neil Barrett ...


I have always worked in the IT industry both for in-house IT departments and outsourcing companies. My first position was for a large managed services provider in Coventry, based full-time on a customer site in Northamptonshire. It was during this assignment I was exposed for the first time to the UNIX & Linux operating systems which I still enjoy looking after today. By the time I left there I was running the Department and went on to head up the IT department of the distribution arm of a manufacturing company on the Warwickshire / Northamptonshire border.

Although the position was well paid and had great benefits, it wasnt particularly challenging and that's when I set up my own business. Keba was born. It was about nine months later in the summer of 2002 that that I decided to do it full-time and never looked back.


+44 (0) 1327 300311


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