Microsoft Excel is one of the most useful business tools ever created, but navigating through the contents of a large spreadsheet page can be daunting. To speed things up, the authors of Excel have created some simple shortcuts and search dialogs. This article discusses some of the best and most common,
To speed your way around an Excel spreadsheet try these shortcuts:
[Ctrl]+[Home] – Takes you to the first cell in the spreadsheet (A1)
[Ctrl]+[End] – Takes you to the last non-empty cell in the spreadsheet
[Page Down] – Move down one screen
[Page Up] – Move up one screen
[Alt]+[Page Down] – Move one screen to the right
[Alt]+[Page Up] – Move one screen to the left
[Tab] – Move to the next cell on the right
[Shift]+[Tab] – Move to the next cell on the left
The Excel Go To Dialog
The Excel Go To dialog lets you navigate to any cell in a workbook.
To access the Go To dialog using the menu system, just select Home | Editing | Find and Select | Go To; or alternatively you can type [Ctrl]+G or [F5]
The Go To dialog is simple to use. At the bottom of the dialog is an input box titled Reference. In that box just type the reference number of the cell you want to navigate to and hit [Enter]. For example, to go to the very first cell in your spreadsheet, type A1 in the Reference box, and hit [Enter].
Another feature of the Go To dialog is that it keeps convenient list of places you already went to, just above the reference box, so instead of retyping a cell reference, you can just select it from the let of places you already typed.
The Excel Find Dialog
The Excel Find dialog lets you to search for textual or numeric data within an entire Excel workbook or just one sheet of a workbook. The Replace dialog is similar to the Find dialog but it allows you replace the text once it is found. This article covers only the use of the Find tab.
To access the Find dialog using the menu system, just select Home | Editing | Find; or alternatively you can type [Ctrl]+F or [Shift]+[F5]
The Find dialog has a number of flexible and sophisticated options which will be covered in a future article, but simply searching for text in a spreadsheet is easy.
At the top left side of the dialog is an input box titled Find what. In that box, just type text you are searching for and hit either the Find next or Find all button at the bottom of the dialog.
For example, to find the text “Mortgage” in your spreadsheet, open the Find dialog and type “Mortgage” in the Find what box. If you click on the Find next button, Excel will navigate to the first instance of the word “Mortgage” it finds and select it. If you click on the Find all button, Excel will display a list of references to “Mortgage”, and you can click on the one you would like to navigate to.
The Find dialog also keeps an historical list of phrases you searched for, so instead of retyping a phrase, you can just select if from the list of phrases you already typed.
It takes only a few moments to learn some rudimentary shortcuts and search techniques in Excel. If you use Excel at all, it is worth the time and effort.