Navigate using Your Keyboard in Excel Workbooks

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated November 12, 2016

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time in most programs. Also, some people can’t use a mouse due to mobility issues or they are working on a laptop and depend on their keyboard to interact with their programs. In Excel (for Windows), you can save a lot of time with these 5 navigation shortcuts.

Recommended article: 10 Timesaving Selection Shortcuts in Microsoft Excel Worksheets

1. Go home

This is probably the most useful shortcut for most people. Control + Home will move you to the top left cell below the frozen titles – usually cell A1.

2. Go to a specific cell

Press Control + G and the Go To dialog box appears. Type the cell reference in the reference area and press Enter to go to that cell.

3. Move from sheet to sheet

Press Control + Page Up or Control + Page Down to move from sheet to sheet in the current workbook.

4. Move by data area

This is one of my favourite shortcuts. Control + an arrow key moves the current selected cell by data area.

Let’s say you have selected the top left cell in a data range. If you press Control + right arrow, the selection will move to the last cell with data in it on the right. If you press Control + down arrow, the selection will move to the last cell with data in it at the bottom. If you continue pressing Control + an arrow key, Excel will keep moving to the next area with data in it.

5. Move to a named cell or range

Let’s say you have a cell on a sheet that you want to “jump to” quickly. You can name cells specifically for that purpose. In the following example, imagine you have a cell you wish to “jump to” – Toronto in this case.

  1. Select the top left cell within the Toronto data.
  2. Press Control + F3. The Name dialog box appears.
  3. Press N for New.
  4. Enter Toronto as the name (names can’t have spaces). Excel will suggest the current cell as an absolute reference and the current sheet.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Press Control + G. Any named cells or ranges will appear in the dialog box. Tab to the named cell or range you wish to “jump to” and press Enter.

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