Spreadsheet Day – 17th October

Hey!  It’s Spreadsheet Day!  Woop Woop!

I’m not even kidding, this is a real thing.  Just google it and you will see.   On 17 October 1979 the first spreadsheet program, Visicalc, became available for on the Apple II computer. This is what it looked like back then (image from Wikipedia)


Whilst a lot has changed since then, at its heart all spreadsheets are about making life just a little simpler by organizing data into rows and columns.

As Excel geeks, I think we should celebrate Spreadsheet day.  Without Viscalc who knows where we would be.  I’m not going to over complicate things with VBA code examples, instead, lets get back to basics. In a Brainscape blog post from a few years back, it was estimated that you could be wasting 64 hours (that’s 8 working days!) per year by not using keyboard shortcuts.  So, with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite Excel shortcuts which I use every day.


Ctrl + 1 : Opens the Format window for whatever you’ve selected (cells, charts, shapes etc.)

Ctrl + B : Makes the text in the cell bold

Ctrl + I : Makes the text in the cell italic

Ctrl + U : Underlines the text is the cell

Ctrl + 0 : Hide columns

Ctrl + 9 : Hide rows

Ctrl + | : Toggle between showing values or formulas

Ctrl + S : Save the worksheet

F2 : Edit the active cell

F4 : Repeat the previous action

Ctrl + Shift + + : Insert a new row/column

Ctrl + – : Delete the selected row or column

Ctrl + C : Copy

Ctrl + V : Paste

Ctrl + Z : Undo

Ctrl + Y : Redo the undo

Ctrl + Shift + $ : Apply currency formatting

Ctrl + Shift + % : Apply percentage formatting

Quick Access Toolbar

Don’t forget that you can create your own keyboard shortcuts by using your Quick Access Toolbar.  Pressing the Alt key will give the buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar a number.  Press that number and Ta-Dah! You’ve now got your own customized shortcuts.

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