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Less known shortcuts that are useful

By Wim Gielis posted Tue January 30, 2024 05:31 PM


Hi all,

We all use a number of popular software tools on a daily basis. Getting to master a few shortcuts here and there can be useful although typically we know the most important ones.

Still, I would like to take this opportunity to list a number of my most favorite shortcuts, by tool. Not an exhaustive list but I bet that some of them will be new to you.

Let me know what you find useful and is not in the list and not so well-known.


  • Ctrl-d: fill down the contents / formulas of cells (it's certainly faster than copy/paste)
  • Ctrl-r: fill right the contents / formulas of cells (it's certainly faster than copy/paste)
  • Ctrl-;: quickly enter the current date as a fixed input
  • Ctrl-:: quickly enter the current time as a fixed input
  • BONUS TIP: Ctrl-; SPACE Ctrl-: for quickly annotating like a test result or moment you need to capture
  • Ctrl-Enter: confirm input in all cells of the selection
  • Ctrl-Shift-Enter: enter a formula as an array formula
  • Alt-=: quickly sum adjacent cells, depending on the situation
  • Alt-arrow down: pick from a dropdown list
  • Alt-t-i: show the addins dialog screen. You can remember it from TI = Turbo Integrator ;-)
  • Ctrl-arrow keys: move quickly through cells
  • Ctrl-Shift-arrow keys: move quickly through cells and select cells
  • Ctrl-Backspace: go back to the active cell again (go back navigation)
  • Ctrl-Alt-F5: refresh all connections in a file
  • F2: go in Edit mode for the cell
  • Ctrl-F3: show the Name Manager
  • F3: use a defined name in your formula (pick from a list)
  • F4: in a formula, toggle between absolute and relative cell references. In other contexts, repeat the last action.
  • F5 > Special...: select on a variety of properties of cells
  • F9: evaluate the selected part in a formula in the formula bar. Excel now shows calculated results on hover over.
  • F11: chart out the selection
  • F12: save as


  • Ctrl-Shift-b: show or hide bookmarks
  • Ctrl-t: add a new tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-t: reopen the last closed tab. Even if the Chrome window was closed and even after a machine reboot ! (on purpose or by accident)
  • Ctrl-w: close a tab
  • Ctrl-d: bookmark a page
  • Ctrl-Enter: to automatically add "www." and ".com" so amazon Ctrl-Enter becomes

File Explorer:

  • Win-e: start a new Windows Explorer
  • Ctrl-n: duplicate the current Explorer screen
  • Ctrl-Shift-n: create a new folder
  • Ctrl-Shift-e: expand to the selected folder in the navigation tree on the left


  • Win-d: show the desktop
  • Win-m: minimize all windows
  • Win-l: lock the PC
  • Win-x: show an advanced Windows Start menu
  • Ctrl-Alt-End: it's like Ctrl-Alt-Del but then to a remote environment
  • Alt-Shift: if your keyboard layout changes like Querty becomes Azerty and vice versa
  • Alt-Spacebar, then m, then arrow keys, then shake the mouse a little bit: a window is not visible because it is shown on a disconnected second monitor. You want to get it back in front of you.
  • hit the Win key and type rdp or mstsc to start a remote desktop connection
  • hit the Win key and type appwiz.cpl to go the panel of installed software on the PC


  • Ctrl-d: duplicate the line where the cursor is. If text is selected, duplicate only that selected portion.
  • Ctrl-l: remove the line where the cursor is
  • Ctrl-Shift-Arrow up/down: move the selected line(s) up or down
  • Ctrl-k: comment the selected code given the chosen language
  • Ctrl-Shift-k: uncomment the selected code given the chosen language
  • Ctrl-u: convert to lowercase
  • Ctrl-Shift-u: convert to uppercase
  • press the Alt key and make a rectangular selection with the mouse
  • Alt-c: fill down incrementing numbers - often after a rectangular selection was made
  • a number of shortcuts centered around F3: find occurrences of text
  • create your own macros and assign shortcuts
  • Ctrl-Alt-c: activate a file comparison with the Compare plugin (very useful)