What is a shortcut?

A shortcut is an operation that makes a move with many steps much more efficient, most of the times with a press on the keyboard or a click on the mouse. The combination of keys that create a shortcut are called ‘Shortcut keys’.

How to use the shortcut key) In Windows

There is the daunting step of memorizing the combination of keys before making our life easier, but once memorized, these short cut keys are extremely helpful.
For example, to ‘copy a cell’, we simply select the cell and press the ‘Ctrl’ key and then the ‘C’ key.

① Select cell to copy


② Press the ‘Ctrl’ key and then the ‘C’ key (press ‘C’ while pressing ‘Ctrl’).


③ If the selected cell is surrounded with a dotted square, copying is complete.



The keyboard content is a little different in Mac (for example, there is no ‘Ctrl’ key).
In Mac, the ‘command’ or the ‘cmd’ key serves the same purpose as the ‘Ctrl’ in Windows. Like this, the name of keys might be different, but there are similar shortcuts in Mac as well.



List of shortcuts (Windows/Mac)

The list below shows shortcuts for both Windows and Mac. There are many more shortcuts, but here we have picked up the ones used most frequently.
(※Empty space means that there is no shortcut)

Action Windows Mac
Cut the selected cell Ctrl+X command+X
Copy the selected cell Ctrl+C command+C
Paste the copied cell Ctrl+V command+V
Undue most recent action Ctrl+Z command+Z
Repeat most recent action Ctrl+Y
Select rows Shift+Space shift+Space
Select columns Ctrl+Space ctrl+Space
Delete row/column (After selected) Ctrl+「- (minus)」 ctrl+K
 Add row/column (After selected) Ctrl+「+ (plus)」 ctrl+I
Move left in the sheet Ctrl+PageUp option+「←」
Move right in the sheet Ctrl+PageDown option+「→」
Move to the upper left (A1) Ctrl+Home ctrl+Home
Move to the last cell with data/value Ctrl+End ctrl+End
Set up (Undue) AutoFilter Ctrl+Shift+L command+shift+F
Select reference for AutoFilter
(※After column title selected)
Alt+「↓」、Enter after selected
Select check box in AutoFilter
(※After column title selected)
Alt+「↓」、Space after selected
Search Ctrl+F command+F
Replace Ctrl+H command+H
Format cells Ctrl+1(※no number pad) command+1
Merge cells command+shift+M
Undue merge command+option+M
Today’s date Ctrl+「; (semicolon)」 command+「;」
Current time Ctrl+「: (colon)」 command+「:」
Absolute cell reference (fix with $) F4 command+T
Zoom in of document (sheet) command+「+」
Zoom out of document (sheet) command+「-」
Open book Ctrl+O (the alphabet) command+O
Close book Alt+F4 command+W
Save book (Save As) F12 F12
Save book (Save) Ctrl+S command+S

Create and set up shortcuts for use

‘Merging cells’ and ‘undoing the merge of cells’ are actions we use often in Excel, but shortcuts for these actions do not exist in Windows.
In this case, we use the ‘Quick Access Toolbar‘ to create our own customized shortcut.

What is a Quick Access Toolbar?

A Quick Access Toolbar exists on the top left of Excel, and we can freely add actions in order to create shortcuts.


How to create and set up shortcuts for use) Customize Quick Access Toolbar and add ‘merge cells’

We will customize the Quick Access Toolbar and add ‘merge cells’ to the toolbar.


(1) Right click on ‘Quick Access Toolbar’.


(2) Select ‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar’.


(3) When the dialog box appears, follow steps through ①~⑤.

① Select ‘Quick Access Toolbar’.
② Select [All Commands] from Opposite triangle▼ of [Choose commands from].
③ Select ‘Merge Cells’.
④ Click ‘Add’. Check that ‘Merge Cells’ has been added in the category on the right.
⑤ Click ‘OK’ to complete.


How to use a shortcut key) Check the recently added shortcut and use it

Now let us check if the shortcut is added properly.


(1) Check the shortcut key

Click the [Alt] key, and number and alphabets will appear.
These signify the ‘key’ that can be used as a shortcut.


(2) How to use the shortcut key just added

If we see above, there is a number ‘4’ on top of the ‘merge cells’ tab.
This means that by combining the number with the [Alt] key, we can create a customized shortcut. In this case, the shortcut key to ‘merge cells’ would be:


Now we can merge by just pressing the above 2 keys.


Customizing tool bars might be something to make tasks more efficient.