Microsoft Excel: 10 Excel shortcuts

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Editor's note: As the calendar springs into March and then April, deadline pressures heavily tax the time of even the most experienced and efficient CPAs. To help you make the most of your working hours, this edition of Technology Q&A features a couple of previously published — but always relevant — lists of time-saving tips for Microsoft Windows and Excel.

1. The SUM function. Pressing Alt+= (equal sign) in the cell below a column of numbers inserts the SUM function and highlights that column of numbers.

2. Select a range of data. Pressing Ctrl+A inside a range of data selects the data range.

3. Select an entire worksheet. Pressing Ctrl+A outside a range of data selects the entire worksheet.

4. Select a column. Pressing Ctrl+Spacebar selects the entire column where your cursor is located.

5. Select a row. Pressing Shift+Spacebar selects the entire row where your cursor is located.

6. Go to cell A1. Pressing Ctrl+Home moves the cursor to cell A1 (unless you have your Transition navigation keys turned on, in which case pressing the Home key accomplishes this task).

7. Go to the end. Pressing Ctrl+End moves your cursor to the bottom-right corner of the active range. (The active range can be defined as that range from cell A1 to the intersection of the bottommost row and rightmost column in which you have entered data, even if you have since deleted those data.)

8. Hide a column. Pressing Ctrl+0 (zero) hides the current column, or columns if you have more than one column selected. This shortcut even works when you use the Ctrl key to select multiple columns that are not adjacent to one another.

9. Insert the date. Pressing Ctrl+Semicolon inserts the current date.

10. Insert the time. Pressing Ctrl+Shift+Semicolon inserts the current time.

About the author

J. Carlton Collins, CPA, ( is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

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