Shortcuts in Google Sheets

One of the differences many “converts” from Excel to Sheets lament is keyboard shortcuts. Here are ways to work with many of the same shortcuts you were used to in Excel, in Sheets.

Override browser shortcuts

The first thing that might help is to override browser shortcuts. For example, Ctrl+- (minus) in Chrome and Edge will zoom out. But, if you override the browser shortcuts, this will delete selected rows as you might expect it to do in Excel.

To override browser shortcuts, open a Sheets file. Click on the Help dropdown menu and select Keyboard shortcuts. At the bottom of the dialog box, you’ll see a slide button to toggle overrides on or off.

Click the View Overrides link to see what the impact will be. Hover over the information button to see what the browser would do if the keyboard shortcuts weren’t overridden. If you find yourself needing to toggle back and forth between overridden and not overridden, use Ctrl+Alt+K.

Shortcuts that are the same (Mac, too!)

Go back to the help menu for keyboard shortcuts to view a whole list of them! You can do that with the Ctrl+/ shortcut (which doesn’t have a conflict with a browser shortcut). Here are some that work the same in Excel as in Sheets. On a Mac, simply replace Ctrl with the Command key.

  • F4 – Absolute cell reference
  • Ctrl+D – Fill down
  • Ctrl+R – Fill right
  • Ctrl+Z – Undo
  • Ctrl+Y – Redo
  • Ctrl+; – Current date
  • Ctrl+K – Insert link
  • Ctrl+C – Copy
  • Ctrl+V – Paste
  • Ctrl+A – Select all
  • Ctrl+F – Find

Not in Excel

Here are several shortcuts that will make some Excel users jealous.

  • Ctrl+Shift+L – Format: Align Left
  • Ctrl+Shift+E – Format: Align Center
  • Ctrl+Shift+R – Format: Align Right
  • Alt+Shift+5 – Format: Strikethrough

Alt menu shortcuts

If you press the Alt key in Excel, letters will pop up over the tabs. If you type those letters, you’ll access that ribbon. In Sheets, you can use the following Alt key shortcuts to access dropdown menus. Be careful! Between shortcuts click a cell in your worksheet before trying another Alt+ shortcut.

  • Alt+F – File menu
  • Alt+E – Edit menu
  • Alt+I – Insert menu
  • Alt+O – Format menu
  • Alt+D – Data menu
  • Alt+T – Tools menu
  • Alt+H – Help menu