September 1

Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts, quite surprisingly, are a blessing and a menace at the same time. On one hand, when they become second nature, they are bound to improve your efficiency dramatically. On the other, shortcuts can disrupt learning during workshops and webinars.

Jordan shares a funny perspective on this topic. Sometimes, when presenting in a workshop or webinar, using a keyboard shortcut might be a very small portion of what you are trying to impart. But the audience is so blown away by the shortcut, they forget all about everything else. So, what is it about shortcuts that’s so attractive?

With Jordan Goldmeier facilitating the session, we have Oz du Soleil, Rick Grantham and our special guest Dave Bruns of on the panel.

Let’s get started!

1 – Time Savings

According to Dave, the time saving aspect of keyboard shortcuts is what makes them attractive. Shortcuts for data navigation, paste special and other similar tasks can never be forgotten once picked up. In his experience, people are always looking for new Excel shortcuts.

2 – Difficulties with Shortcuts

Knowing that Oz hates keyboard shortcuts, Rick puts the spotlight on Oz without any hesitation. Oz normally deals with many different projects, different software and different machines. It is outright impractical to focus on learning and remembering keyboard shortcuts for all the possible combinations. Hence, to make life easier, he tries to stick to a few basic ones, like Copy and Paste.

3 – Extreme Measures

Jordan mentioned that some people rip out the F1 button from their keyboard to avoid hitting it by mistake while using F2. All this just to avoid seeing a terrible help system pop up.

4 – Too Soon?

Is there a time when introducing shortcuts can be counter-productive while training?

Dave thinks that introducing people to multiple ways of achieving the same thing might be problematic, especially during basic Excel workshops. On the other hand, attendees are saved from wasting time right-clicking and finding stuff. He also highlighted that Microsoft Excel’s interface does not make it easy for shortcuts to be picked up fast.

His own technique of teaching shortcuts involves 2 steps:

  1. When he uses a shortcut for the first time, he explains it to the audience.
  2. After that, it will be flashed at the edge of the screen whenever he next uses it.

Oz stressed on how knowing multiple ways of doing something can be a good thing and help move forward faster.

What’s next?

We would love to hear your take on keyboard shortcuts in Excel. Do leave your comments below. And remember to share this video with your friends or colleagues.

About the author 

Jamani Arsalan

I am a healthcare consultant, currently based in Middle East, at an international professional services firm. My work largely revolves around project management, and statistical analysis. And my professional interests include developing my knowledge within the discipline of health analytics.

  • Great topic ! As with any other skillset or subject, sometimes people who are super-proficient have very little patience for people who are learning. And we are all-too conscious of our turtling pace, lol ! thanks for sharing, Excel gurus…

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