Lara’s Top 5 Keyboard Shortcuts

Jul 22, 2021 | General

I always love a quick way to do something and shortcuts are a huge timesaver.  Now, I’ve posted about shortcuts before but I bet you have wondered which ones I find most useful in my day to day life and why so here goes!! 

1. F4 – Fixes cells in Microsoft Excel 

This has got to be my number one shortcut.  It adds (or removes) dollar signs from a cell reference which effects how it copies or autofills.

For example, when A1 is used in a calculation it is relative and the cells move in the direction of the copy or the autofill.   However, $A$1 makes it absolute which fixes the cell so it doesn’t move at all.  It has so many applications I don’t even know where to start. 

2. CTRL S – Saves the file and is the same shortcut across most of the Microsoft suite of packages 

Now, I know that there is an option to autosave now in most of the packages but I’m not a great fan, so I often switch it off!!  So, to quickly save my files CTRL + S is brilliant.  And if I ever need to do a save as then ALT + F4 does that.  There you go, 2 shortcuts for the price of one!! 

3. ALT TAB – Switches between open windows 

This one is particularly useful when I am running online training sessions to navigate between the Microsoft Teams screen I am sharing and the application I am training on.  If these two windows are the last 2 that have been used it seamlessly switches between the two.  It is one that I encourage my delegates to use too if they are working on only 1 screen for my online courses. 

4. CTRL + A – Select All 

Depending on the application and where you are within the application it’s behaviour changes slightly.  My favourite use is in Excel.  When I’m clicked in the middle of the data, it selects the current region stopping at blank rows and columns. 

5. CTRL + ALT + 1 – Applies heading style 1 in Microsoft Word 

This is great when I am creating manuals and other longer documents.  It helps me to quickly get my formatting consistent.  It works for all the other heading levels too by substituting the 1 for 2, 3, 4 or more.  

So these are my current favourites, and some have been for a long time but it does depend on what I’m working on at any point as to which ones will be used the most.  It will be interesting to look back on this post in a few years’ time and see what choices have come and gone. 


Want to learn more about Microsoft Office? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Courses I run.