Inserting Or Deleting Excel Cells


Q. Is there a fast way to either insert or delete cells in an Excel worksheet? The conventional way—using the mouse and right clicking—is awkward and slow.

A. There is a fast way. Place your cursor where you want to insert a cell and then press Ctrl and a plus sign (+) either on the numeric keypad or above the equals sign (=). To delete a cell, press Ctrl and a minus sign (–). The screens those commands generate will look like this:

To insert cells in Excel, press Ctrl+… … and to delete a cell, press Ctrl–.

An Even Better Way

Some time ago we provided a tip for applying the same formatting or style to multiple parts of a Word or Excel file. We suggested first setting the format or style, highlighting it and then, when you move to the other places where you want to use the same format, pressing Ctrl+Y or F4. Reader Kenneth S. Germany, a CPA who works for the Department of Defense and has a small private practice, suggested an even simpler way: Double-click (rather than single-click) the Format Painter in the toolbar. You’ll notice it does not disengage after you highlight a range; it will remain in effect until you click on it again. That way, you can format as many ranges or cells as you like without having to hit F4 or Ctrl+Y or continuing to click on the Format Painter . But don’t forget to disengage it when you’re finished.

Do you have a technology question for this column? Send it to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at zarowin@mindspring.com or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy, Harborside Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881. We regret that we cannot answer letters individually. If a question asked by a reader is deemed to have sufficiently broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

—The editors

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