Excel Tip of the Week #270 - Function key shortcuts

Hello and a very Happy New Year from the Excel Tip of the Week!

As a reminder, all the TOTW posts are classified with a complexity grading in line with ICAEW's Spreadsheet Competency Framework.  We're kicking off 2019 with a Basic User level post in which we're covering the various uses of the function keys in Excel.  All of our posts are written with Excel for Windows in mind, but for this post especially so!

What each function key can do

Some of the functionality we talk about here is universal to all Windows applications, and a lot are specific to Excel.  This is a selection - some of the more particular or useless shortcuts are omitted.

Function key Other key press Purpose
F1 (none) Opens the Excel Help menu
F1 Ctrl Show/hide the Ribbon
F1 Alt and Shift Insert a new worksheet
F2 (none) Jump into a cell to edit its contents
F2 (none) When writing a formula, toggle whether arrow keys move within the formula or create cell references to nearby cells
F2 Shift Insert a comment on the active cell
F3 (none) If named cells are used in the workbook, shows the Insert Name dialog
F3 Shift Opens the Insert Function dialog
F4 (none) When writing a formula, toggle between absolute and relative references ($ signs)
F5 (none) Opens the Go To dialog
F6 (none) Jumps between the various clickable elements of the workbook - i.e. cells, Ribbon, task pane, and zoom controls
F6 Ctrl Jumps to the next open Excel workbook (same functionality as Ctrl and Tab)
F7 (none) Runs the spell checker
F7 Ctrl If the current window is not maximised, switches on the ability to move the window with the arrow keys (press Enter to end)
F8 (none) Toggles Extend Selection mode - while activated, arrow keys will extend the current range (same functionality as holding Shift)
F8 Shift Toggles Extend Selection, but allows you to select a non-neighbouring cell for the range
F8 Ctrl If the current window is not maximised, switches on the ability to resize the window with the arrow keys (press Enter to end)
F8 Alt Opens the Macros dialog
F9 (none) Calculates all worksheets in all workbooks (this is normally automatic but can be made manual)
F10 (none) Starts a key tip - allowing you to navigate the Ribbons menus with keystrokes (same functionality as Alt)
F10 Shift Opens the shortcuts menu / right click menu for the current item
F11 (none) Creates a quick chart of the currently selected data on a new sheet
F11 Shift Inserts a new worksheet
F11 Alt Opens the Visual Basic Editor
F12 (none) Opens the Save As dialog

Nobody regularly needs to use all of these, but it's worth knowing what options are out there!

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