Another side benefit to navigating around your applications without scrolling is avoiding hand, wrist and elbow injuries which may result from repetitive strenuous motion, like excessive use of your mouse.
1. Use hotkeys to navigate your menus. Whether you are using 2007 or earlier versions of Excel if you simply tap your Alt key, you should notice the menu bar (97-2003) or ribbon (2007) change. In the earlier versions, you can now tap the underlined letter, such as F for File or W for Window and it will drop down the menu. From there just tap the underlined letter that indicates the selection you want to make, such as S for save or F for freeze panes, respectively. In 2007, tapping the Alt key will reveal all the hotkeys available on the ribbon showing and your Quick Access Toolbar.
2. Use your Ctrl key and your arrow keys to navigate to the last non-blank cell in the column or row. For example, if you have data down to row 100, Ctrl+down arrow will stop there. Be aware if you are using this technique in a column or row with some blank spaces, it will stop before each one. Add the Shift key, so Ctrl+Shift+down arrow to select all the cells down to the last non-blank cell in the column. Add Ctrl+Shift+right arrow to the sequence and select an entire table. Hint: Ctrl+A or Ctrl+* will also select a whole table of data.
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3. Do you have a lot of data entry to do for which it would be a lot easier if Excel would simply drop the cursor to the right? You can change a setting in Excel to do this for a project or permanently if you choose. In 2003 and earlier versions, you’ll find it by navigating to Tools, then Options, then the Edit tab. Change the setting from down to right in the Move selection after Enter field. In 2007, you’ll find this by clicking the Office Button, selecting Excel Options and choosing Advanced. It will be the top option.
There are dozens of awesome shortcuts to make your life easier in Excel. What’s your favorite?
Look for great shortcut hints in the latest installment in my Office Technology Training series — Microsoft Excel: Time Savers for Every Skill Level.
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2. Wrangling Worksheets
3. Typing Less in Excel
4. Time-Saving Templates
5. Troubleshooting Formulas
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1. Drilling Down to the Data You Need
2. Whipping Text Imports Into Shape
3. Macros – Reuse/Recycle
4. Vertical Lookup Functions
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