Excel Menus and Shortcuts

Excel provides a multitude of commands that can be used to design your worksheet. These commands are available from the ten different menus covered extensively in the corresponding chapters within this book. This section provides an overview of these menus and provides some important shortcuts and tasks.


The File menu provides the means for dealing with the actual workbook file. This menu contains options for opening, closing, saving, and printing the workbook. Basically, this menu contains all of the options needed to deal with the actual workbook file -- whereas, the other menus provide the commands for manipulating the contents of the workbook.

The first six icons on the Standard toolbar are the most frequently used File menu commands. Although the commands are the same, the Print command on the toolbar and File Print produce slightly different results. The File Print option opens the Print dialog where you are able to verify the print settings. The Print command prints the selected print area to the default printer. Another difference exists between the New command on the Standard toolbar and the File New option. File New opens a dialog where you can select a template to apply to the new workbook and the New command on the toolbar opens a blank workbook based upon the default workbook settings. For more information about these menu options, refer to Chapter 3.

File Task List

Create a new workbook based upon a template: Chapter 3
Open an existing file: Chapter 3.
Open a recently used file: Chapter 3
Save a workbook: Chapter 3
Specify the portion of the worksheet to print: Chapter 3
Print the selected portion of a worksheet: Chapter 3
View file properties: Chapter 3
Exit the current workbook and close Excel if no other workbooks are open: Chapter 3

Keyboard Shortcuts

Create a new workbook: Ctrl+N
Open an existing file: Ctrl+O
Save a workbook: Ctrl+S
Save a workbook with a new name, location, or format: F12
Print the selected area: Ctrl+P
Exit Excel: Alt+F4


The Edit menu provides the commands you need for moving, locating, and modifying the contents of your worksheets. The five most commonly used Edit menu commands, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, and Redo, can also be found on the Standard toolbar.

Besides the commonly used commands, the Edit menu also provides the ability to create a list of related values using Edit Fill Series. For example, this command can be used to insert a series of dates that are 15 days apart. For more information about these menu options refer to Chapter 4.

Edit Task List

Undo the most recent changes to a workbook: Chapter 4
Remove specific information from selected cells: Chapter 4
Insert the most recent cut or copied information: Chapter 4
Fill selected cells with a value in a specified series : Chapter 4
Remove the specified type of values from the selected cells: Chapter 4
Remove the selected worksheet from the workbook: Chapter 4
Search for specific values and change them: Chapter 4
Modify the links between a workbook and other files: Chapter 4

Keyboard Shortcuts

Undo last action: Ctrl+Z
Redo last undone action: Ctrl+Y
Cut content: Ctrl+X
Copy content: Ctrl+C
Paste cut or copied content: Ctrl+V
Fill down the selected range of cells: Ctrl+D
Fill the selected range of cells to the right: Ctrl+R
Delete the contents of the selected cells: Del
Find specified text or formatting codes: Ctrl+F
Replace found content with new content: Ctrl+H
Go to a particular page or section: Ctrl+G (or F5)


You can use the commands on the View menu to change the way your worksheet looks on the screen and when it prints. You can either view the worksheet in a regular window or you can use the Full Screen command to remove the toolbars and display the worksheet so that it fills the entire screen.

You can use the View Comments command to show all of the comments that have been placed in the worksheet. If you want to remove them from the display, you simply need to select the View Comments command again.

Depending upon the size of your worksheet, you may want to change the display size using the Zoom command so that you can see more cells on the screen at one time. For example, if you Zoom at 50% you will be able to see twice as much of the worksheet, but everything will be the size of 100% view.

You can use the Custom Views command to save the current view of the document so that it can be selected in the future. This is very useful for creating views of the workbook with specific print settings or hidden cells.

Probably one of the most important features on the View menu is the ability to view and set the page breaks for your worksheet using the Page Break Preview command. When you select this command the view indicates the location of the existing page breaks. You can adjust those page breaks by clicking on them with the mouse and dragging them or you can insert new page breaks. For more information about these menu options, refer to Chapter 5.

View Task List

Specify page breaks when printing a worksheet: Chapter 5
Toggle the display of comments off and on: Chapter 5
Select the specific toolbars that display: Chapter 5
Turn the display of the Formula and Status bars off and on: Chapter 5 and Chapter 5
Create custom workbook views: Chapter 5
Create and modify the header and footer for the workbook: Chapter 5
Switch to Full Screen view: Chapter 5
Choose a Zoom percentage for your workbook: Chapter 5


The Insert menu provides the ability to add several different things to your workbook. If you need additional space in your worksheet you can use one of the first three commands to insert a specific number of cells, rows, or columns into your worksheet. Keep in mind that each worksheet can only have a maximum of 256 columns and 65,536 rows. Therefore, when you insert a row or column in the middle of a worksheet one is removed from the end.

One command you are likely to use frequently is Insert Function. This command allows you to add various functions to your worksheet for calculating and manipulating data. For example, if you have a series of numbers that you want to total you can insert the SUM function.

If you want to be able to provide a graphical representation of your data, you can insert a chart either directly into a worksheet or as a separate sheet in the workbook. For more information about these menu options refer to Chapter 6.

Insert Task List

Add additional cells, rows, or columns to a worksheet: Chapter 6; Chapter 6; Chapter 6
Insert additional worksheets into your workbook: Chapter 6
Add charts to your workbook: Chapter 6
Insert page breaks at specific locations in a worksheet: Chapter 6
Add functions to your worksheet: Chapter 6
Create names for groups of cells within your worksheet: Chapter 6
Add comments to specific cells: Chapter 6
Insert pictures directly into your worksheet: Chapter 6
Insert an object from another application: Chapter 6
Add hyperlinks to web sites or other documents: Chapter 6

Keyboard Shortcuts

Repeat the last action: Ctrl+Y (or F4)
Edit the comment in a cell: Shift+F2
Create names for rows or columns: Ctrl+Shift+F3
Fill the selected range of cells with the initial entry: Ctrl+Enter
Fill down: Ctrl+D
Fill to the right: Ctrl+R
Define a name for range of cells: Ctrl+F3
Insert a Hyperlink: Ctrl+K


There are various levels of formatting available within Excel. You can format specific cells by specifying number format, alignment of text within each cell, borders and patterns for the cell, and the font types, colors, and sizes. You can format rows and columns by changing the height or width, and by hiding specific rows and columns. Finally, you can format the worksheet by renaming it, hiding it, or selecting a background image to display on it.

You can also use the AutoFormat command to select a predefined format for the worksheet. If you want to apply a specify format to a cell based upon its contents, you can use the Conditional Formatting command. Finally, you can create predefined styles that you can select from for formatting cells. For more information about these menu options refer to Chapter 7.

FormatTask List

Format the text in a cell: Format
Hide specific rows or columns: Format and Format
Modify the width of a row or the height of a column: Format and Format
Hide a specific worksheet in the workbook: Format
Rename a worksheet: Format
Insert a background image on a worksheet: Format
Select a predefined format for your worksheet: Format
Format cells based upon specific criteria: Format
Create styles: Format

Keyboard Shortcuts

Display the Style dialog box: Alt+`
Display the Format Cells dialog box: Ctrl+1
Apply the General number format to selected cells: Ctrl+Shift +~
Apply the Currency format with two decimal places: Ctrl+Shift+$
Apply the Percentage format with no decimal places: Ctrl+Shift+%
Apply the Exponential format with two decimal places: Ctrl+Shift+^
Apply the Date format in the format mm/dd/yy: Ctrl+Shift+#
Apply the Time format with specified number of hours and minutes and indicating A.M. or P.M.: Ctrl+Shift+@
Apply the Number format with two decimal places, thousands separator, and minus sign (-) for negative values: Ctrl+Shift+!
Apply or remove bold formatting: Ctrl+B
Apply or remove italic formatting: Ctrl+I
Apply or remove underline: Ctrl+U
Apply or remove strikethrough formatting: Ctrl+5
Hide specified rows: Ctrl+9
Unhide rows: Ctrl+Shift+(
Hide specified columns: Ctrl+0 (zero)
Unhide columns: Ctrl+Shift+)


The commands available on the Tools menu provide the ability to run and customize the features available within Excel. The menu provides the ability to spell check the text within your worksheet and set up automatic spell checking with the AutoCorrect feature. The Add-Ins feature available by selecting Tools Add-Ins provides the ability to add additional features to Excel such as the Analysis ToolPak, discussed frequently in this book, which provides several additional functions that can be used within your worksheet.

You set the options for how Excel looks and acts using the Options dialog that displays when you select Tools Options. This dialog contains eight tabs for controlling options such as the appearance of the Excel window, the default file location, and the default file format. You can also customize the look of the toolbars using Tools Customize. For more information about these menu options refer to Chapter 8.

Tools Task List

Check the spelling and grammar of the text within your worksheet: Chapter 8
Specify the desired automatic correction options: Chapter 8
Protect the worksheet and workbook to eliminate unwanted changes: Chapter 8
Use the collaboration tools Track Changes and Online Collaboration: Chapter 8 and Chapter 8
Merge together two copies of the same workbook: Chapter 8
Determine the value needed in a cell to provide the desired end result for a graph or formula using Goal Seek: Chapter 8
Create “what-if” scenarios for values in a chart: Chapter 8
Determine the precedents and dependents for a cell: Chapter 8
Record or run a macro: Chapter 8
Load additional Excel features (Add-Ins): Chapter 8
Customize your toolbars and menus: Chapter 8
Set options for the Excel and the active workbook: Chapter 8

Keyboard Shortcuts

Spelling and Grammar: F7
Open the Visual Basic Editor window: Alt+F11
Open the Microsoft Script Editor window: Alt+Shift+F11


The Data menu provides a series of commands for analyzing data within your worksheet. The Sort command provides the ability to sort a series of cells in ascending or descending order based upon the value in the indicated columns or rows. The Filter command allows you to hide the rows that do not meet the criteria you specify.

You can use the Forms command to quickly enter data into a list of columns. If you want to limit the values that can be specified in a cell, you can use Data Validation to specify the acceptable values. For more information about these menu options, refer to Chapter 9.

Data Task List

Sort the selected portion of a worksheet based upon the specified criteria: Chapter 9
Filter out rows that do not meet the specified criteria: Chapter 9
Specify data for a form: Chapter 9
Add subtotals to your list: Chapter 9
Restrict the values that can be specified in a cell: Chapter 9
Use “what-if” comparisons with a table of values to determine the results of a formula with different values: Chapter 9
Convert text pasted from another source into columns: Chapter 9
Create custom templates: Chapter 9
Merge data from multiple workbooks: Chapter 9
Outline your workbook: Chapter 9
Create PivotTables and PivotChart Reports: Chapter 9
Add data from an external data source: Chapter 9

Keyboard Shortcuts

Select an Entire PivotTable report: Ctrl+Shift+*


The Chart menu provides commands for modifying the selected chart. This menu only displays when a chart is selected; otherwise, the Data menu displays in that location. The Chart menu provides options for changing basically all features of the chart including modifying the chart type and the data used to create it. For more information about these menu options, refer to Chapter 10 .

Chart Task List

Select a different type or sub-type of chart: Chapter 10
Alter the range of data used by the selected chart: Chapter 10
Customize the look of the chart: Chapter 10
Specify the name and location for the chart: Chapter 10
Add data to a chart: Chapter 10
Alter the display for 3-D charts: Chapter 10
Add a trendline to a chart: Chapter 10


The Window menu allows you to switch between open Excel workbooks or view multiple workbooks simultaneously. If you have a large worksheet you can use the Split command to split it, and scroll individual portions of the workbook. Since Excel 2000 uses SDI (single document interface) you can also switch between open workbooks simply by clicking on the icon for the desired workbook on the Taskbar.

Window Task List

Arrange the open worksheets within one Excel window: Chapter 2
Hide the current workbook: Chapter 2
Split the active workbook window into four panes: Chapter 2
Freeze panes within a worksheet: Chapter 2
Switch between open workbooks: Chapter 2

Keyboard Shortcuts

Switch between open workbooks: Alt+Esc or Alt+Tab
Move to previous pane: Shirt+F6
Minimize workbook window to icon: Ctrl+F9
Maximize workbook window: Ctrl+F10


Like the other Office 2000 products, Excel’s online help comes through an animated Office Assistant that lets you type a question and choose a help article from those offered. If you get tired of this little guy sitting on your screen, you can turn the assistant off and use a more traditional help window. If none of the articles offered seem to meet your needs, you can choose to search for help on the Web, and if you’re online at the time, choosing to do so will take you to the tech support section of the Microsoft web site.

Other help features include special tools, such as a What’s This feature that allows you to click on an item to get a pop-up description, and the Detect and Repair command that searches for problems in Excel’s application files and attempts to fix them.

Help Task List

Activate the Office Assistant: Section 2.1.2
Use What’s This?: Section
Run Detect and Repair: Section
Go to Office support on the Microsoft web site for help: Section
View Excel version and system information: Section

Keyboard Shortcuts

Open Word Help: F1
Activate What’s This? Help: Shift+F1

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