In part 2 of this series we looked at how you can use the keyboard and mouse together to move, copy and insert the cells you selected. In this third article I am going to show you how to use the right mouse button together with keyboard accelerator keys to speed up your workflow.
Here are the basic steps:
1. Right click on a cell, row or column – this brings up the context menu
2. Look for the command you want to activate
3. Look for the letter that is underlined (this is the keyboard accelerator key)
4. Press the underlined letter on your keyboard to activate that command
I like using this method because it gives a visual prompt of the shortcut, and it’s often an intuitive one. It applies to all Windows applications that use underlined shortcut accelerator keys.
Here is a step-by-step example to show you this in practice. Let’s say you want to insert a new row above an existing row. Here we want to insert a row between rows 14 and 15:
Now that you know how to insert a new row, you can experiment with selecting multiple rows and checking what happens when you right click and press ‘I’. Excel will insert as many rows as you have highlighted.
Sometimes you have a data table with headers at the top, and you want to filter one column on the currently selected value. In this example I am filtering a list of city names to show all rows that say ‘London’.
Note: Keyboard shortcut for right-click
If you are a keyboard aficionado and want to stick to the keyboard, you can access these combos using the right-click button which is usually located between the right Alt and Ctrl keys. For keyboards that don’t have a right-click button you can use Shift + F10.
Remember this mouse and keyboard combo applies to all Windows applications that feature underlined accelerator keys, so it’s not just an Excel tip. In Excel you right click on a cell, row or column then press the underlined accelerator key to activate the command with the underlined key. In other applications you right click on some part of the document or application and look for the underlined accelerator keys. Simple and slick!
Well that’s the end of this series, I hope you found it useful. As ever, it’s important for you to try these mouse and keyboard combinations out in Excel. Focus on the 20% that you use most often and commit them to memory – this will help you to get faster in Excel.
Victor expertly teaches Microsoft Excel to people all over the world. He has millions of views of his popular Excel explainer videos on YouTube. These show time-saving shortcuts and real-world applications explained with easy-to-follow visuals.
Victor has over 20 years of experience using Excel as a professional for Big 4 Audit Firm Deloitte and two global tech companies. He knows firsthand that being more productive with Excel can lead to greater job satisfaction and career growth.
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