Google Sheets makes way more sense if you’re not in the Microsoft ecosystem and only use spreadsheets to manage your small business. I use it extensively and switching back and forth between keyboard and mouse is really unintuitive. I try to incorporate keyboard shortcuts into my workflow wherever I can, be it Google Docs keyboard shortcuts or macOS keyboard shortcuts. It’s only logical that we cover some of the most important Google Sheets shortcuts for keyboard users. Let’s begin.
1. Select Rows and Columns
When you’re working with data on Sheets document, it can be tiring to select entire blocks of rows and columns using a mouse. You can, in fact, use a simple keyboard shortcut to quickly select an entire row or column on the sheet. Simply press Ctrl + Space to select a column and Shift + Space to select a row. You can select an entire grid of cells with the usual ⌘ + A or Ctrl + A.
2. Paste Without Formatting
When copying the data from other sheets, you also get the formatting and this quick shortcut would let you remove the frills and copy just raw data. When pasting the data, instead of pressing ⌘ + V, press ⌘ + Shift + V or Ctrl +Shift + V to paste without any formatting.
3. Apply Borders
Distinguishing data on a huge sheet can be a little challenging and that’s you have the option to add borders to make the cells stand out. As every cell has four sides, you get the ability to add borders to each side or all at once. To add the border on all four sides, simply press ⌘ + Shift + 7 or Ctrl + Shift + 7.
You can remove the borders by pressing Option + Shift + 6 or Alt + Shift + 6 keyboard shortcut.
4. Align Data
To make your data look consistent on the sheet, it’s a good practice to align the cells. You can align the cells in three ways: left, right, or center. Press ⌘ + Shift + L or Ctrl + Shift + L for left, press ⌘ + Shift + R or Ctrl + Shift + R for right, and press ⌘ + Shift + e or Ctrl + Shift + e for center alignment.
5. Insert Date and Time
Adding date and time is one of the most used actions and you need to know the correct Google Sheets keyboard shortcut for it. Either you can input the date and time at once or you can add date and time separately. To input them together, press ⌘ + Option + Shift + ; or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + ;. To add the current date, press ⌘ + ; or Ctrl + ;, and to add the current time press ⌘ + Shift +; or Ctrl + Shift + ;.
6. Format Data to Currency
Let’s say you’ve added some data to your sheet but the values are just numbers. You can convert those cells and format the data into currency. To format your cell data to currency, select all the cells, and press Ctrl+ Shift + 4.
7. Add Links
Whether you’re maintaining a list of competitors or creating a resource of websites, you can put hyperlinks in Google Sheets which makes it extremely convenient to open sites. To add a link, simply press ⌘ + K or Ctrl + K and paste the hyperlink. Additionally, you can open the links directly by pressing Option + Enter or Alt + Enter.
8. Adding Rows and Columns
One of the frustrating parts of using Google Sheets was that using the toolbar to add rows and columns is a literal nightmare. However, once you find out the keyboard shortcuts, you’re never going back the traditional way.
- Insert Row above: Press Ctrl + Option + I then R or Ctrl + Alt + I then R.
- To Insert Row below: Press Ctrl + Option + I then B or Ctrl + Alt + I then B.
- Insert Column to the left: Press Ctrl + Option + I then C or Ctrl + Alt + I then C.
- Insert Column to the right: Press Ctrl + Option + I then O or Ctrl + Alt + I then O.
9. Deleting Rows and Columns
Just like adding rows and columns, deleting them can be a challenge as well but there is a Google Sheets shortcut for that as well. Press Ctrl + Option + E then D to delete the current row. To delete the column, press Ctrl + Option + E then E again.
10. Add a Comment
Press ⌘ + Option + M or Ctrl + Alt + M to add a comment on any cell or block.
11. Show Keyboard Shortcut Window
The list above doesn’t cover the entirety of the keyboard shortcuts available for Google Sheets but the most useful ones are these. You can search for any Google Sheets keyboard shortcut by triggering the Info window by pressing ⌘ + / or Ctrl + /.
What’s your Favorite Google Sheets Shortcut
These were a few of the best Google Sheets shortcuts that are frequently used by professionals and amateurs alike. As you start using these shortcuts, you will narrow down to a few shortcuts that you use more than others and there even might be a few that aren’t listed above.