Excel-lent Shortcuts

Last Updated May 22, 2007 9:56 AM EDT

excel sheetNavigating your own huge Excel file can be difficult; turning someone else's data into something usable and useful can be downright maddening. If you're going to be spending a lot of time immersed in spreadsheets, it helps to know a few tricks to maximize your efficiency.

There are plenty of Excel tip collectors out there (like say, exceltip.com), but I just came across a great (and compact) compendium of shortcut keys from Aabservations that taught me to do some things that I thought Microsoft had rendered impossible. One of my favorite new tricks is to press shift-tab after I've selected a block of cells. That immediately takes me to the bottom right of my selected block so I can make sure that I've selected the appropriate range. Also, I knew that ctrl-D could be used to fill a series down with a specific number, but I didn't know that it could also be used to fill in patterns (namely: 1,2,3, etc.).

So check it out--pretty soon, you'll be flying mouseless around your data.