Maintaining and working on spreadsheets is a necessity for every accounting professionals, for which Microsoft Excel is among the most preferred software. Not just it maintains the data in an organized and structured form, it can also add pace to calculations and deploying special functions.

excel tips and tricks

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For the number of operations that Excel can deliver, accounting professionals spend a good amount of time on it. By learning some tricks and shortcuts in the tool, you can save some quality time and help you be more efficient.

Here are some of the Excel shortcuts that every accountant must know:

1. F2 – Show Formula Reference

You can use Function key F2 to show the formula for the active cell. There are several reasons for which you have to look at the formula for the cell, like – suspecting the value displayed or when only is in consideration. Now using the mouse to switch to Formula tab and then enabling ‘Show Formulas’ can consume quite some effort and when compared with a gentle pressing of F2 key on the keyboard.

Tip: If you want to enable or disable the display formulas for the entire worksheet in one go, you can use CTRL + Grave Accent (`) shortcut.

2. CTRL + H – Find and Replace

Most accountants (or we can almost all regular computer users) are aware of the shortcut to find in the worksheet, which is CTRL + F. Strangely, only a few are aware of shortcut to open Find and Replace window on the worksheet. CTRL + H can be used for the purpose. When you are copying an entire worksheet to work on the same data type for a new client, Find and Replace is a very helpful option.

3. Shortcuts for Quick Navigation in Excel

From moving to different cells in the same worksheet to moving entirely to the different worksheet, Excel has a solution for them all. Here are the solutions that you can use:

CTRL + HOME – Move to the first cell (A1) of the worksheet
CTRL + END – Move to the last used cell on the worksheet
CTRL + Page Up – Switch to the left worksheet
CTRL + Page Down – Switch to the right worksheet

With the quicker navigation shortcuts available, you can save healthy time especially when working on the lengthy worksheets, which is a common case for the accounting professionals.

Tip: By switching to the last used cell using CTRL + END, you can easily check for the empty rows and columns and get rid of them.

4. Shift + F2 – Add or edit a cell comment

While working collaboratively with a number of users or just to remind something to oneself, comments in cells are irreplaceable necessity with the software. To get going faster with comments, you can the shortcut Shift + F2 on the active cell. You can use this shortcut to add or edit the comment.

Tip: For a streamlined collaboration experience with different users, you can switch to cloud hosting of your spreadsheet software or office suite.

5. CTRL + Shift + Plus (+) – Open the insert dialog

To insert a row, columns, or cell in the worksheet, you can use the shortcut, CTRL + Shift + Plus (+). It will open ‘Insert’ dialog box with the default selected checkbox for ‘Shift cells down’. Other options that you can pick here are ‘Shift cell right’, ‘Entire row’ and ‘Entire Column’.

Depending on the specific usage of Excel that you usually involve in, the shortcut that you may require can vary. We would like to hear from you about the keyboard shortcuts or other Excel tricks that you use to save time and maintain accounts with accuracy. Post them in the comments below.

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