Mouse-less Cell Formatting

Mouse-less Cell Formatting

So, you’re working in MS Excel and you’ve got some cells to format. What do you do?

Oh, wait, I know.

You highlight the cell(s) to be formatted and then use the Format menu, Cells choice (or Ctrl + 1) to open the Format Cells window. This is followed by some “quality mouse time” spent scrolling through the choices until you find the right format.

What was that you said?

What about the formatting buttons on the Formatting toolbar?

Yep, I agree, the buttons can save a lot of time if they cover the formatting you’re looking to create. But, what about a few key combinations to get some of the more common formatting changes done just a little bit faster?


Yeah, I thought you might be, so here’s a short list to “take a test drive”.

First highlight the cell(s) to be formatted. (Don’t forget that the Shift key in combination with directional keys—such as Home, End and the arrows—will highlight cells without the aid of the mouse.)

Cells highlighted?

Good, then let’s get to the list.

  • Ctrl + Shift + ! will change 50 into the Number format 50.00
  • Ctrl + Shift + $ will change 50 into the Currency format $50.00
  • Ctrl + Shift + % will change .75 to the Percent format of 75%
  • Ctrl + Shift + @ will change 15:45 into the Time format 3:45 PM
  • Ctrl + Shift + # will change 11/4/2004 into the Date format 4-Nov-04

Give these a try. Once you’ve used them a few times you’ll find that they’re pretty easy to remember.

Maybe you can even leave your mouse feeling a bit neglected!

~ April

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