Excel Unplugged

My Excel Shortcut of the Year


In my work as a Trainer and also as a Data Scientist (I love that term), Shortcuts in Excel are a vital part of doing things efficiently. This shortcut helps you when you select data. Let’s assume this is our data.

Excel Shortcut of the Year

A bunch of dates from A1 to Z12000. Working with this amount of data, one frequently has a need to select the data or just one column of data. And when you do that either by Ctrl+A or by Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrrow, what you get is not all that satisfying.

You select the first cell

Excel Shortcut of the Year

Press Ctrl+A (or Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow for a column of data) and feel enthusiastic since everything is selected at once, but what you get is

Excel Shortcut of the Year

  1. The active Cell is still A1
  2. Excel has moved the focus down to Z12000 (or A12000 if you selected the column)
  3. And the only way to get back up is by the vertical Scroll Bar

But there is another way in Excel to get to the Active Cell and that is Ctrl + Backspace.

Here’s what you get.

Excel Shortcut of the Year

It always gets you back to the Active cell. I still get chills J. Before this I was used to pressing Enter and then Shift+Enter to get back to that Cell. I believe this is what is or should be called eternal happiness in Excel.

Comments 4

  1. Gary says:

    Or you could use CTRL + SHIFT + 8 to select the whole range.
    (not the one on the numpad, but the one along the top of the keyboard)
    The range is selected but the active cell always returns A1

    1. Yes, the only problem is that Ctrl+Shift+8 is region sensitive. It does not work on all input methods. But it’s great nonetheless. Thanks for the contribution!

  2. Neale Blackwood says:

    You can use the * on the keypad as well – then it is just Ctrl + *.

    It selects what is called the current region – great for tables.

    Ctrl + . (Ctrl + full stop)

    will take you around the corners of your selected region too – handy to check large ranges

  3. Ivan M. says:

    It’s really an excellent shortcut, Gašper!
    It helps going to active cell regardless of the screen (I see its using in various working situations: e.g. selecting the filtered cell then clear filter and finding the recently selected cell, etc.)
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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