Compilation of Common Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Sheets

As an office worker, are you under time pressure to complete work reports? With just a few basic keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets, you can work more efficiently and quickly than ever before if you remember and use them proficiently.

You will be surprised to see a significant boost in work progress by using shortcuts, especially for tasks you frequently perform, such as cell formatting or row deletion.

In this article, we will share the top 20 Google Sheets shortcuts that most people commonly use, and they are sure to help you save a considerable amount of time.

Activate Compatible Shortcuts in Google Sheets

Before delving into the shortcut content, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure access to all these shortcuts.

As Google Sheets is a web-based tool, many shortcuts available in other spreadsheet tools like MS Excel are not initially enabled, and you need to activate these shortcuts.

Here are the steps to enable compatible shortcuts in Google Sheets:

  1. Click on the Help option in the menu.
  2. Click on Keyboard Shortcuts.
  3. In the opened Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, enable the option ‘Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts.’
  4. Once you perform this action, you will have access to numerous shortcuts, similar to those in Excel.

Essential Top 20 Keyboard Shortcuts for Efficient Google Sheets Workflow

#1 Repeat the Last Action

If you could choose only one Google Sheets shortcut from this article, it should be this one:

Repeat the last actionF4 

With this shortcut, you can repeat the last action you performed with just a single button press.

For example, if you colored a cell red, you can go to any other cell and simply press F4, and it will automatically color that cell red as well.

Note that it will only repeat the last action. So, if you colored a cell red and then made the text bold, using F4 will only apply the formatting for bold text because that is the last action it remembers.

#2 Cut/Copy/Paste/Undo/Redo

These are standard shortcuts that work across most applications, both within Google applications and outside, such as Excel and PowerPoint.

CutControl + XCommand + X
CopyControl + CCommand + Y
PasteControl + VCommand + V
UndoControl + ZCommand + Z
RedoControl + YCommand + Y

#3 Insert Row or Insert Column

Inserting a new row or column is an operation we often need to perform quite frequently.

Insert row aboveALT + I + RCtrl + Option + I, then R
Insert row belowALT + I + WCtrl + Option + I, then W
Insert column aboveALT + I + CCtrl + Option + I, then C
Insert column belowALT + I + GCtrl + Option + I, then G

In case you’re not using Chrome on a PC, you need to hold down the Shift key along with the ALT key when using these shortcuts.

#4 Delete Row or Delete Column

Similar to how you can insert rows and columns, you can also easily delete rows and columns using shortcuts.

Delete specific rowsALT + E + DCtrl + Option + E, then D
Delete specific columnALT + E + ECtrl + Option + E, then E

#5 Select Entire Row or Column

This can be useful when you want to apply or remove formatting from an entire row or column at once.

Select the entire rowShift + SpacebarShift + Spacebar
Select the entire columnControl + SpacebarControl + Spacebar

#6 Paste Values Only or Paste Format Only

When you copy and paste cells in Google Sheets, it copies both the values and formulas, as well as the formatting of the cells (including conditional formatting).

With this shortcut, you can copy a cell and paste only its values into other cells. This is useful when you want to convert formulas into values.

You can copy cells with formulas and simply paste values onto them. This removes the formulas, leaving only the original values and formatting.

Similarly, you can also copy only the formatting of cells without copying any other elements.

Just paste the valueControl + Shift + VCommand + Shift + V
Paste formatting onlyControl + ALT + VCommand + ALT + V

#7 Find Value or Find and Replace Value

You can easily locate (or find and then replace) the content of cells based on their values. To do this, you first need to open the Find and Replace dialog box.

Find valueControl + FCommand + F
Find and replace valuesControl + HCommand + Shift + F

Note that when you open the Find dialog, it only opens a simple search box at the top right of the spreadsheet. As you enter any text into it, Google Sheets will highlight all matching cells (in real-time) and also show you the number of cells where the value is found.

When you use the Find and Replace option, it opens a dialog box with various options to find and replace text in Google Sheets.

#8 Add a New Sheet

Adding a new sheet to your Google Sheets document is inherently simple, but this shortcut makes it even easier and quicker.

Add a new sheetShift + F11 

Unfortunately, this shortcut is not available for Mac (at least not at this time).

#9 Formatting Shortcuts (Bold, Underline, Italicize, Strikethrough)

A range of formatting shortcuts can save you time and enhance your experience when working with Google Sheets.

These are standard shortcuts that you may already be familiar with if you’ve been using computers for a while.

BoldControl + BCommand + B
UnderlinedControl + UCommand + U
ItalicizedControl + ICommand + I
StrikethroughAlt + Shift + 5Option + Shift + 5

While the first three are quite standard, the shortcut for applying strikethrough in Google Sheets is specific to Google Sheets (in Excel, you would need to use Control + 5 to apply strikethrough).

Note that these are toggle shortcuts. This means that if you use it once, it will apply the formatting, and if you use it again, it will remove the formatting.

#10 Cell Alignment (Center, Left, Right)

Alignment options are frequently used operations, and Google Sheets has made it easy for users to adjust cell alignment by adding these options to the toolbar.

CenteredCtrl + Shift + ECommand + Shift + E
Left alignmentCtrl + Shift + LCommand + Shift + L
Align rightCtrl + Shift + RCommand + Shift + R

#11 Insert a Link into a Cell

You can link your cells to external URLs as well as to any sheet or cell/range within the current Google Sheets document.

To do this, you need to open the ‘Insert link’ dialog. When you open it, there are multiple options for creating a link.

Insert linkControl + KCommand + K

#12 Insert Date and Time

If you want to quickly input the current date or time value into a cell, you can easily do so using a keyboard shortcut.

Insert current timeCtrl + Shift +Command + Shift +
Insert current dateCtrl +Command +

Note that when you use this shortcut, it inserts a static value into the cell and does not change as time progresses.

If you want to receive an updating value to reflect the current date or time, you can use the TODAY and NOW functions.

#13 Clear All Formatting from a Cell or Range of Cells

If you want to swiftly remove all formatting from a cell or a range of cells, you can use this shortcut.

Delete all formattingCtrl + \Command + \

It will eliminate everything (such as colors, borders, font size, font color) except the value in the cell. When you use it, the cell will default to its original content.

#14 Move to the Next or Previous Sheet

When you have numerous sheets in Google Sheets, navigating and finding them can be challenging.

Fortunately, there is a shortcut that allows you to quickly move to the next sheet (or go to the previous sheet).

Move to the next pageCtrl + Shift + Page DownCommand + Shift + Fn + Down arrow
Move to the previous pageCtrl + Shift + Page UpCommand + Shift + Fn + Up arrow

Using these shortcuts will take you to the next sheet (or the previous sheet if you’re on the second sheet). If you need to go to sheets further away, you will have to use the shortcut multiple times.

#15 Show All Sheets

Another useful feature when working with Google Sheets is that you can easily view a list of all sheets and then select the sheet you need.

Show all worksheetsAlt + Shift + KOption + Shift + K

The shortcut above will display a list of all sheets in Google Sheets for you. You’ll have to locate the title of the sheet you want to view and then click on it.

Additionally, hidden sheets will also appear in the list, and if you click on one, you will be taken to that sheet.

#16 Open Hyperlinks

When you have numerous hyperlinks in cells, and you want to open all of them at once, you can use this shortcut.

Open the linkALT + EnterOption + Enter

It is especially helpful when you have multiple URLs in cells that you want to open simultaneously rather than opening each URL one by one.

#17 Insert Note/Comment

In Google Sheets, you can add a note to a cell or insert a comment using the following shortcuts:

Insert notesShift + F2Shift + F2
Insert/edit commentsControl + ALT + MCommand + Option + M

#18 Show All Formulas in the Spreadsheet

When you enter a formula into a cell in Google Sheets, it will always display the result of the formula.

But if you want to quickly view all the formulas (not the values) in your spreadsheet, you can use the following shortcut:

Show all formulasControl ~Control ~

This is a toggle shortcut, meaning that if you use it again, it will revert the cells with formulas back to their original state where they will display values instead of formulas.

#19 Change Reference to Absolute/Relative/Mixed

When working with formulas in Google Sheets, you may want to change the reference to absolute or relative.

While you can achieve this by manually adding the $ sign before the column or row alphabet, it’s more convenient to use this shortcut:

Reference conversionF4Fn + F4

#20 Fill Value or Formula

When performing data entry tasks in Google Sheets, you often find yourself copying and pasting the same cell value from the cell above (or from the cell to the right).

Instead of manually copying the first cell and then pasting it, you can use the following shortcuts:

Fill downControl + DCommand + D
Fill rightControl + RCommand + R

When you use this shortcut, it will copy both the value and the formatting/formula from the cell.

So, we’ve provided you with the top 20 most common keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets. We hope that after reading this article, you’ll be able to use the features of Google Sheets more efficiently and save time.

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