15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Save You Time When Working in Microsoft Word and Excel

Microsoft Word and Excel provide numerous keyboard shortcuts. Trying to remember them all is impractical, but learning the shortcuts for operations you frequently perform can save you time. Here are 15 keyboard shortcuts you might consider using.

Microsoft Word and Excel have been around for a long time, so they have many features, including more than 200 keyboard shortcuts. Using these shortcuts can save you time because you just need to press a combination of keys to perform an action. While trying to remember every single shortcut is impractical, it pays to learn the shortcuts for operations you frequently perform, such as copying and pasting text.

Here are 15 keyboard shortcuts that you can use to perform common operations in Word and Excel (2007 and later versions):

1. Ctrl+C

If you regularly use Word or Excel, you probably copy text (or other items) fairly often. A quick way to perform this action is to press Ctrl+C on your keyboard. In other words, press the Ctrl key and the C key at the same time. Once you do, the text you copied will be on your clipboard, ready for pasting.

2. Ctrl+V

Pressing Ctrl+V pastes the text (or other items) currently on your clipboard. The text will be placed in the spot where you have your cursor in the document or spreadsheet.

3. Ctrl+A

If you want to select everything in your file so that you can, for example, change the text’s font size, all you need to do is press Ctrl+A. This is quicker than using the “Select All” option in the toolbar or scrolling through your entire file while holding down the left mouse button.

4. Ctrl+F

When you need to find all the instances of a certain word, number, or character in your document or spreadsheet, you can use the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut to bring up the search functionality. In Word 2010 and later versions, you can even search for graphics, tables, footnotes, equations, and comments.

5. Ctrl+H

Occasionally, you might need to do more than just find instances of a word, number, or character. When you need to replace those instances with new text, press Ctrl+H to access the find-and-replace functionality in Word or Excel.

6. Ctrl+Z

Ctrl+Z will likely be one of your favorite keyboard shortcuts once you start using it. It reverses your last action, which is extremely helpful when you have an “Dang, I didn’t mean to do that” moment. For instance, pressing Ctrl+Z will restore a paragraph that you just accidentally deleted or remove formatting that made your table look gaudy rather than good. You can press Ctrl+Z multiple times to keep undoing your actions.

7. Ctrl+Y

Pressing Ctrl+Y will redo an action that you just undid with Ctrl+Z. You can also use Ctrl+Y to repeat the last action you performed. This can be particularly helpful when you want to apply more than one type of formatting to certain text in a document or spreadsheet. For example, suppose you want to highlight particularly good sales numbers in a spreadsheet by changing their color to red and boldfacing them. After using the toolbar to change the first number to red bold type, you can apply this formatting to the other numbers by highlighting each one and pressing Ctrl+Y.

8. Ctrl+I

One way to emphasize information in a document or spreadsheet is to italicize it. Pressing Ctrl+I applies italic formatting. You can also use this keyboard shortcut to remove this formatting.

9. Ctrl+U

Another way to emphasize information in a file is to underline it. Press Ctrl+U to apply or remove underlining.

10. Ctrl+B

To capture readers’ attention and make documents easier to read, many people put titles, headings, and other key elements in bold formatting. Similarly, they boldface column and row headings in spreadsheets. Pressing Ctrl+B lets you quickly apply or remove bold formatting to text.

11. Ctrl+K

If you want to insert a hyperlink, use the Ctrl+K keyboard shortcut. In the window that appears, you will be able to create a new hyperlink or edit an existing one.

12. F7

If you are spelling-challenged, you will want to remember the F7 keyboard shortcut. Pressing it brings up a spell checker. In Word, this tool looks for spelling and grammatical errors. In Excel, it only checks for spelling mistakes.

13. Ctrl+O

Sometimes it is necessary to have multiple files open in an app. For example, you might need to copy some sales figures in one workbook and paste them into another one. Pressing Ctrl+O will send you to the “Open” page, where you can select the file you need to access.

14. Ctrl+P

When you are ready to print your document or spreadsheet, press Ctrl+P. This will send you to the “Print” screen, where you can specify the printing parameters.

15. Ctrl+N

If you find that you need to create a new document or workbook while working in Word or Excel, press Ctrl+N. The new file will open without you having to navigate to the “File” tab and select “New”.