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Benefits of using excel shortcuts: get your shortcut sheet

Benefits of using excel shortcuts: get your shortcut sheet
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Corality’s Excel shortcut sheet is one of our free materials. We’re proud to share it as part of our passion to spread the best practice modelling message.

Benefits of using Excel shortcuts

In financial modelling, there are certain operations that you need to perform time and time again. Without a thorough understanding of the different Excel shortcuts available to you, you are forced to rely on your mouse, which can make work slower, compared to performing the same tasks using keyboard shortcuts.

Excel shortcuts will help you:

  • Increase your modelling productivity, saving time and therefore money
  • Reduced your dependence on the computer mouse, which can improve your work posture and prevent strain associated with RSI

Top five most popular Excel shortcuts

  1. Select Area/All [Ctrl+A] - This is useful when you want to select either the entire sheet or the “current area” (for example, an entire area). If you are currently located somewhere on the worksheet (but not inside an area), then Ctrl+A will select the entire worksheet. However, if you are somewhere inside an area, then that entire area will be selected.
  2. Bold [Ctrl+B], Italics [Ctrl+I], Underline [Ctrl+U] - Using any of this is a quick way to apply basic formatting. However, for more control and consistency, we recommend the use of styles (see below).
  3. Cut [Ctrl+X], Copy [Ctrl+C], Paste [Ctrl+V] - These are used if you wish to cut/copy/paste cells. It can be useful to firstly select an area using Ctrl+A, and then cut/copy and paste this area elsewhere.
  4. Undo [Ctrl+Z], Redo [Ctrl+Y] - Undo is a very commonly used functionality because it enables us to revert the model back to an earlier state.
  5. Find [Ctrl+F], Replace [Ctrl+H] - Using these shortcuts automatically brings up the find or replace dialog boxes, which is useful when you want to find particular text in an Excel spreadsheet.

Top five Excel shortcuts to increase productivity

  1. Filling across columns/rows [Ctrl+Shift+Right/Down then Ctrl+Right/Down] - It’s amazing how many people still fill across a row by copying the cell, then clicking and dragging across right/down and pasting. Shortcuts are much faster. To copy formulae down, firstly select the appropriate area (Ctrl+Shift+Down) and then fill the formulae down (Ctrl+Down). To fill cells to the right, use the same steps, replacing the down arrow key with the right arrow key.
  2. Select row [Shift+Space], select column [Ctrl+Space] - Useful for times when we want to select an entire row or column.
  3. Styling [Alt+'] - This combination brings up the styles dialog box, which is useful to help us quickly apply styles to our models.
  4. Go to the end of the worksheet [Ctrl+End] - This shortcut enables us to go to the end of the worksheet and is useful for determining whether a file size is padded out by unnecessary cells.
  5. Spell check [F7] - Amazing how many models we get that have basic spelling errors!

More handy tips about Excel shortcuts

There are plenty of articles about the benefits of using Excel shortcuts, here are some of the articles we find interesting.


Rickard Wärnelid
by Rickard Wärnelid

Rickard's passion for financial modelling is built on specialist roles in the highly quantitative fields of derivatives and project finance, a career path complemented by an academic grounding in engineering physics. Born in Sweden and with global consulting and leadership experience, Rickard is an internationally recognised authority, speaker and thought-leader on the organisational benefits of best practice financial modelling.

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