(Last Updated On: 06/03/2020)

Navigating Large Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

Navigating Large Excel Spreadsheets Efficiently

Excel Spread sheets can be a pain to get around when you have lots of sheets to bounce around between and data that spans over many columns and rows.

Ctrl Home and Ctrl End should be the first keystrokes you ever learn because these can be used in not only Microsoft Excel Products but also in Word and PowerPoint. Ctrl Home will get you to the top and Ctrl End will get you to the very last page if in Word or the last column or row that has data in it for Excel.

I don’t know about you, but I found it stressful when I started a new job and I had to navigate someone else’s Excel spread sheets. I kept getting lost bouncing between the sheets that I needed to play with.

Sometimes I have coloured the sheets that are relevant to me. That worked.

Best Solution: Using the navigation arrows at the bottom left hand side. Right Mouse Click on them. This will produce a list of all the sheets in your workbook. Select the one you want, and press enter. It now takes you directly to that sheet. Stress solved. Ok one stress solved.

Selecting chunks of data is another drama. Click and drag for 100 years. Then I go past what I needed and fine it frustrating to go back. I’ve lost the plot by then.

If you have a block of data up to the point where there is a blank row or column. Ensure you have clicked inside that data set. This part of the step is crucial. Two keys and you’re done. CTRL A. Then you can continue to do whatever you like with this selected set. Copy and paste it, do some formatting or delete it.

Excel Shortcut Keys You Really Need To Know

If you change your mind and need to select the whole sheet you already pressed CTRL A when you were inside the data set press CTRL A, a second time and this will extend the selection to the entire Excel Sheet.

Saving your Excel spreadsheets as you go along is crucial. You can press the Save icon from the Quick Access Toolbar or you can save yourself a lot of time and press Ctrl S. Sometimes what you are after is not quite save but Save As, in that instance press F12.

We tend to work with multiple opened workbooks at a time and get slack at cleaning up after ourselves as we go by closing the files we don’t need. This is often why our machines struggle; they don’t have enough ram power to keep everything open. When you are ready to clear your Excel desk of opened files Hold the Shift key as you press the close cross at the top right-hand corner. This will close all your currently opened Excel Workbooks. Ctrl W will close only the current Excel Workbook.

If you are the kind of person that saves everything onto the Desktop, then getting to the Desktop when you are in an application can be done in several different ways. First you can close every Application window you have open until you can see the desktop. To the far right of your Windows Task Bar, where you can hardly see a command button area, you can click it and you will get to the Desktop. Are you ready for the ultimate keystroke Windows D?

Sure, it’s not hard to insert and Excel Worksheet you just press the plus sign all the way at the very end. When you press the plus sign, it inserts and Excel sheet to the right of the selected sheet. If you press Shift F11 you get the sheet inserted to the left of the selected sheet.

Ctrl Home you may already know will get you to cell A1.

When you work with extremely large Excel Worksheets that go into the double and the triple column letters. You will be looking for the quickest way you can find to get you to the very last column or row that has some data in it. Try, Ctrl End and Ctrl Shift End to Select and jump to the very end.

If creating graphs is something you need to do quite often. Well I’ve got one key for you. All you need is data with header labels and labels to the left then figures in each row. Ensure your cursor is in the data you don’t even have to have all the cells selected and then press F11. This will create a column graph for you.

Is data entry more your thing, are you typing the current date all the time perhaps for your time sheets. Don’t know about you but when I need to type todays date, I go looking at the bottom right-hand side of the Tabs bar. With this keystroke you will never look at the task bar or go for your phone to find the date. Press Ctrl ; and for the time press Ctrl Shift :

Pasting data is Ctrl V not Ctrl P. Ctrl P is for printing.

Insert Multiple Rows At A Time

Need to insert 5 to 10 rows above a certain point in your spreadsheet. I have seen people Right Click on ONE row and insert a row only to then repeat the process 5 times. There must be an easier way right. Yep there is.

Select 5 to 10 rows first then Right Mouse Click and select insert rows. Woo-Hoo done. Hope your feeling excited about how much time you can save. Want more.

This video will give you great insights into how to Navigate and Select using Microsoft Excel spread sheets.



There are lots of wonderful shortcut keys to make your life easier when navigation around Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets. The top 5 most used Shortcut keys in Excel are: Ctrl S to Save, Ctrl W to close a window, Ctrl C to copy and Ctrl V to paste and Ctrl P for print.

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