Whether you’re a beginner in Google Sheets or a long-time user, getting the hang of using keyboard shortcuts can be quite challenging. However, making it a habit is sure to improve your productivity and reduce the time it takes for you to complete certain tasks.
In this guide, we’ll cover Google Sheets shortcuts you should be using on a regular basis. Mastering these shortcuts will surely reduce the time you spend getting lost trying to find buttons so you can spend your workday doing fruitful labor efficiently.
Don’t worry, this guide works great for both Mac and Windows PC users!
Basic Google Sheets Keyboard Shortcuts
Before we proceed to the more advanced shortcuts, let’s make sure we know the basics first!
- Common Actions
These are the most basic shortcuts everyone should be using including Undo, Redo, Select all, Print, etc.
|Open another file||Cmd+O||Ctrl+O|
|Show all keyboard shortcuts in-app||Cmd+/||Ctrl+/|
|Show or hide formulas||Ctrl+~||Ctrl+~|
|Insert new sheet||Shift+Fn+F11||Shift+F11|
|Search the menus||Option+/||Alt+/|
- Copy, Cut, and Paste
There’s more than just the vanilla copy and paste.
Paste Values Only omits the source’s formatting and allows you to follow the destination’s formatting upon Paste.
Paste Formatting Only applies the source’s formatting to the destination.
|Paste Values Only||Cmd+Shift+V||Ctrl+ShiftV|
|Paste Formatting Only||Cmd+Option+V||Ctrl+Shift+V|
- Bold, Underline, Italic, Strikethrough
Format text like it’s your second nature.
Never leave you’re sheets looking unprofessional with messed up and irregular alignments again.
Make your spreadsheet more interactive by adding links to it. You can even link to other docs and sheets! Just have your URL ready and don’t forget to edit the text if you need to.
Bonus tip: Want to do more than just the standard linking? How about cloud file management for your sheets? Try FileDrop which allows you to efficiently attach files like PDFs, images, and anything within your Google Drive to cells while also keeping tabs on your uploads.
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Advanced Google Sheets Shortcut Keys
We swear by this list of Google Sheets shortcuts. Go over this curated list to learn new shortcuts as well as the underlying features they activate.
Clear formattingis one of the most convenient shortcuts when revising your spreadsheets. It strips away a cell of its current text formatting such as bold, italic, text and fill colors, and alignment.
You don’t have to jump into Format > Number each time you apply formatting as decimal, time, date, currency, percentage, or exponent. Use these shortcuts to apply the format you need to a cell.
Note however that the number format will use the default formats. If you need a different currency, number, or time format, you should still configure that through Format > Number > Custom.
|Format number as decimal||Ctrl+Shift+1||Ctrl+Shift+1||100.00|
|Format number as time||Ctrl+Shift+2||Ctrl+Shift+2||5:00 AM|
|Format number as date||Ctrl+Shift+3||Ctrl+Shift+3||12/25/2022|
|Format number as currency||Ctrl+Shift+4||Ctrl+Shift+4||$100.00|
|Format number as percentage||Ctrl+Shift+5||Ctrl+Shift+5||100%|
|Format number as exponent||Ctrl+Shift+6||Ctrl+Shift+6||1.25E+06|
- Find and Replace
Find (Ctrl+F or Cmd+F) is one of the most useful universal shortcuts ever to be invented. It exists not only in Google Sheets but also your browser, email, calendar, and most of your work apps.
If you aren’t already using it in Google Sheets, it helps you navigate by just typing words, phrases, or numbers from a page and highlights the result while also letting you hop to every instance.
|Find and Replace||Cmd+Shift+H||Ctrl+H|
Now that was just the basic part. Doing Find and Replace is a different kind of beast that many long-time Sheets users aren’t using more of.
Find and replace is a powerful feature that allows you to substitute what you input in Find with your input in the Replace with field. To give you ideas on use cases for this feature, here are some scenarios and examples.
- Revise spelling.
- Misspelled customer or company names in your CRM,
- Revising your vocabulary or terminology of choice.
- Purple to lavender; freelancer to contractor;
- Changing words due to regional differences like these US English to UK English examples:
- color to color; gas to petrol; sedan to saloon; tires to tyres.
- Replace identifying numbers like SKUs, product numbers, serial numbers, or other codes.
- Change hex codes, hashtags, phone numbers, even email addresses, URLs
- Replace a brand or company name with a new, different, or more appropriate one.
- Google to Alphabet; Facebook to Meta; Figma to Adobe, etc
The possibilities with Find and replace are boundless and will definitely make it easier for you when the time comes you’d have to revise your spreadsheets.
- Open revision/version history
Remember Ctrl+S or Cmd+S for saving your spreadsheet? Seasoned Google Sheets and Docs users have forgotten about that shortcut already because it’s not necessary unless you’re working offline. Google Sheets is automatically saved to your Drive when you’re connected to the internet.
However, always-saved sessions could also make you wonder — what if you make a mistake and you forgot to undo (Cmd+Z or Ctrl+z) all the way? Or what if you accidentally deleted entire sections of your previous spreadsheet in error? Well, everyone makes mistakes! Thankfully the version history library is here and it’s one of the most underappreciated features within Google Sheets.
You can pull up the version history of your Sheets file and find all of the recorded edits made in the copy of your document. You’ll also see who made the edits, the timestamp, and which parts of the document were affected.
This shortcut can be a handful (four keys!) but mastering it and the underlying function can be very rewarding. Learn more about viewing Google Sheets file history in our in-depth article.
|See version history||Option+Alt+Shift+H||Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H|
Note that to be able to see the version history, you must have at least Editor access for the file. Also, older and much bigger file histories could be merged occasionally by Google Sheets to save storage space which means the further back in time you go, the less granular the history may become.
- Insert Current Time or Date
There’s a shortcut for inserting the current time or date so you won’t have to type manually anymore.
For clarity, this shortcut uses the semicolon ( ; ) and a variety of other modifiers for both Mac and Windows.
|Insert current date||Cmd+;||Ctrl+;||12/01/2022|
|Insert current time||Cmd+Shift+;||Ctrl+Shift+;||12:00:00 PM|
|Insert current date and time||Cmd+Shift+Option+;||Ctrl+Shift+Alt+;||12/01/2022 12:00:00 PM|
Please note that the actual output on the rightmost column depends on your default spreadsheet settings. Your region may have a different date and time format which you can change by going to File > Settings.
- Notes and Comments
These are shortcuts relevant to collaborating with your team. You need at least Commenter access to leave comments and Editor access to insert or edit notes.
|Insert or edit note||Shift+Fn+F2||Shift+F2|
|Insert or edit comment||Cmd+Option+M||Ctrl+Alt+M|
|Open comment thread||Cmd+Option+Shift+A||Ctrl+Alt+Shift+A|
|Reply to current comment||R||R|
|Move to next comment||J||J|
|Move to previous comment||K||K|
|Resolve current comment||E||E|
|Exit current comment||U||U|
Conclusion on Google Sheets Shortcuts You Must Know
There are hundreds of shortcuts you could use and master on Google Sheets. These are just a few curated ones that we’d love for you to start using now.
Don’t forget to use Ctrl+/ or Command+/ to display all the shortcuts available to you when you forget what you’ve learned here so you can become more productive on your day-to-day spreadsheet tasks.
Use FileDrop to Do Even More on Google Sheets
FileDrop is an add-on for Google Sheets, Docs, and Drive that you can install for free here. It’s a potent tool that unlocks file management, optical character recognition, and tighter Google Drive integration without leaving Sheets or Docs.
FileDrop’s core features include:
- Insert PDF, images, or other files in cells
- Add files from Google Drive do your Docs
- Upload files from computer or URLs
- Manage the attached files using File Library
- Automatic file linking
- Import tables from PDF
- Extract text from PDF or images using optical character recognition (OCR)
- Translate the extracted text to another language
- And more + new features via our regular updates!
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