Posts tagged shortcuts
Following a hefty chunk of data analysis the last few days, CTRL + SHIFT + L has probably been my most used shortcut this week. This activates data filters on your Excel spreadsheet – alternatively you can switch them on and off by going to Data then Filter on the ribbon (or toolbar pre Microsoft Office 2007). THe shortcut however really comes into its own on toggling the filters on and off, saving time clearing them each time.
If you’re not already familiar with filters then I thoroughly recommend you check them out, data filters (or autofilters) are a simple way of helping drill down through your data. Take for example the following spreadsheet which is based on the Nobel Peace Prize winners (taken from the Guardian’s DataBlog)
Let’s assume that to start with we wanted to just drill down to find out who were the UK winners. Activate the filters by either using the shortcut or by going to Data on the ribbon and choosing the filter option on versions 2007 and 2010.
By using the data filter we can click on the little arrow on the country column and select just the UK. Suddenly all other data becomes hidden and only those winners from the UK are shown.
You can see that the filter has been activated because there is a small filter symbol rather than an arrow (to indicate which column has been filtered). In addition the row numbers are also highlighted in blue (see the pic above). If you want to you can also drill down further by using other filters, for example to see which UK institutions have got the award just use the filter on column F, “institution or individual”.
Sometimes though you can get carried away with layering multiple filters on different columns and as I said above, this is where the shortcut really comes into its own. Rather than having to go through all the filters to uncheck them if you wish to go back to display all data in the original list just use CTRL+SHIFT+L to toggle the filters on and off.
Don’t forget to have a play with some of the other options on the filters – in Excel 2007 and later versions you can use multiple options to drill down, selecting for example particular years by checking and unchecking boxes:
You can also use the autofilters to pull out data such as the top 10 largest values, or values between certain criteria – choose the Number filters option and then select which options you’re after.
In an almost unprecedented frenzy I blogged twice this week: once on wildcard searching in Excel, and also on finding out the day from a given date in a spreadsheet. As usual I tweeted a number of shortcuts which are as below, and was delighted to bump into someone this week who thanked me for tweeting the shortcuts, CTRL + K for hyperlink in particular. It’s good to know they’re being used! Here’s this week’s roundup:
Toggle Office Ribbon CTRL + F1
Find CTRL + F
Replace CTRL + H
Open Text to Columns Dialog ALT + A then E
Select All CTRL + A
That’s it for me, I’m off to London to revisit some old haunts frequented before our move to Shropshire. Have a lovely weekend!
Reading a blog post solution prompted my two shortcut tweets today (I missed one yesterday, hence the extra!)
CTRL + F and CTRL + H open the Find and Replace tool respectively, both very handy shortcuts that I use frequently. You only need remember one as can then choose the tabs at the top of the dialog box to go to the one you need. Also handy that they are among those that don’t just work in Excel but across the Microsoft office suite in Word, PowerPoint and Access as well.
It’s a straightforward tool – there are a few options you can change when searching which I’ll save for a future blog post – but the post reminded me of my time in an office when we once needed to remove asterisks that had appeared in a set of data. My colleague’s first thought was to go straight to CTRL + H, activating the replace box and put * in the first box, leaving the second box blank, thus replacing it with nothing and in effect removing the pesky asterisks
But wait, what do you think happened? As * is used as a wildcard character to indicate any number of characters Excel assumed that they were looking for any characters and then removed them all, leaving a blank spreadsheet and a howling colleague. Quick use of CTRL + Z (undo) and the spreadsheet was returned to before.
The solution: before the asterisk in the “find what” box use a tilde sign ~ before the asterisk: ~* This tells Excel that it’s an actual * that is being searched for and is not being used as a wildcard.
This should also be used if searching and / or replacing for a question mark ( ? is used as a wildcard indicating a single character) and if you’re actually looking for a tilde you’ll need to have ~~ in the find what box.
Hope that this is helpful, more information is in a microsoft knowledgebase here.
So this week’s Excel shortcut tweets turned out to be a celebration of F11:
Insert a new worksheet SHIFT + F11
Delete the current sheet ALT + E then L
Activate Chart tool / wizard F11
Open VBA Editor ALT + F11
You may wonder what CTRL + F11 does. This inserts a new macro worksheet which is a relic back of the Excel4 days. Yes almost 20 years since Excel 4, when macros were written in a particular worksheet rather than the VBA editor, this shortcut still exists. As far as I know the new worksheets (titled Macro1 etc) don’t have any real use apart from for compatibility with the older version, unless you know to the contrary? Leave me a comment below as I’m intrigued if they’ve other uses.
Another Friday, another round up of my Excel and other Microsoft Office shortcut related tweets for the week in case you missed them:
Add in a hyperlink CTRL + K (works across the Office platform)
Save As F12 (see my blog post here on why I think it’s one of the most useful shortcuts)
Enter the Current Date CTRL + ;
Enter the Current Time CTRL + SHIFT + ;
Any suggestions for Excel (or indeed other) tasks that you’d like to know a shortcut for then just leave me a comment below.