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Google Sheets is a versatile and powerful spreadsheet program with many built-in features and tools, as well as the possibility to extend them using the Google Sheets API, Google Apps Script, and a growing list of add-ons. In other words, there are many, many things you can do in Google Sheets.

However, no matter what you use it for, there are some basic actions that you need to repeat frequently. Many of these are related to editing, formatting, and navigating your Sheets. Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keys that allow you to perform tasks without having to search through menus for the right button.

In this guide, you will learn about Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts that can save you time and effort. You have a selection of 39 must-know shortcuts in different categories, each with the relevant combination of keys for use on Windows or Mac. You will also learn that while Google Sheets shortcuts are different from those of Microsoft Excel, you can easily enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts. By enabling these, you will get 130+ familiar Excel shortcuts if you use Windows and 20 if you use Mac.

Are Google Sheets Shortcuts the Same as Excel?

If you’re used to Microsoft Excel shortcuts, you’ll be happy to learn that you can use most of them in Google Sheets. You can “Enable compatible shortcuts” to add them to the existing shortcuts. However, keep in mind that some of these might not work for specific keyboard and language settings.

How Do I Add Compatible Shortcuts in Google Sheets?

To use Microsoft Excel shortcuts in Google Sheets, go to Help > Keyboard shortcuts. Alternatively, you can use a shortcut to get there: Ctrl + / (Windows) or Cmd + / (Mac). Toggle the button to “Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts” and use familiar spreadsheet shortcuts in Google Sheets: 130+ on Windows and 20 on Mac.

  1. 1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets and go to Help > Keyboard shortcuts, or use the shortcut: Ctrl + / (Windows) or Cmd + / (Mac).
Google Sheets Shortcuts 39 Must Know Shortcuts Help Keyboard Shortcuts
Google Sheets Shortcuts: 39 Must-Know Shortcuts - Help > Keyboard Shortcuts
  1. 2. Click the button to “Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts”.
Google Sheets Shortcuts 39 Must Know Shortcuts Enable Compatible Spreadsheet Shortcuts
Google Sheets Shortcuts: 39 Must-Know Shortcuts - Enable Compatible Spreadsheet Shortcuts
  1. 3. Click “View compatible shortcuts” to see the list.
Google Sheets Shortcuts 39 Must Know Shortcuts View Compatible Shortcuts
Google Sheets Shortcuts: 39 Must-Know Shortcuts - View Compatible Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Sheets

Below, you have a selection of must-know Google Sheets shortcuts by category for both Windows and Mac.

Basic Editing

The shortcuts below include common actions related to editing and selection in Google Sheets.

1. Copy

Select the cells you want and use the shortcut below to copy them.

  • Windows: Ctrl + c
  • Mac: Cmd + c

2. Cut

Select the cells you want to cut and use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Ctrl + x
  • Mac: Cmd + x

3. Paste

Use the shortcut below to paste copied cells with their values, formatting, and formulas.

  • Windows: Ctrl + v
  • Mac: Cmd + v

4. Paste Values Only

Using the shortcut below will only paste the values of copied cells without formatting or formulas.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + v
  • Mac: Cmd + Shift + v

5. Find & Replace

Use the shortcut below to open the ‘Find and replace’ window.

  • Windows: Ctrl + h
  • Mac: Cmd + Shift + h

6. Redo

Use the shortcut below to repeat your last action.

  • Windows: Ctrl + y
  • Mac: Cmd + y

7. Undo

Use the shortcut below to undo your last action.

  • Windows: Ctrl + z
  • Mac: Cmd + z

8. Select All

If you select a cell within a range, the shortcut below will select the whole range. If you select an empty cell somewhere in your spreadsheet, this shortcut will select all the cells in your spreadsheet.

  • Windows: Ctrl + a
  • Mac: Cmd + a
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Format

There are many shortcuts related to formatting, just as there are many formatting options in Google Sheets. The selection below includes some of the most common tasks related to formatting cell contents.

1. Clear Formatting

  • Windows: Ctrl + \
  • Mac: Cmd + \

2. Bold

  • Windows: Ctrl + b
  • Mac: Cmd + b

3. Italic

  • Windows: Ctrl + i
  • Mac: Cmd + i

4. Underline

  • Windows: Ctrl + u
  • Mac: Cmd + u
  • Windows: Ctrl + k
  • Mac: Cmd + k

6. Insert Date & Time

  • Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + ;
  • Mac: Cmd + Option + Shift + ;

7. Format as Decimal

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + 1
  • Mac: Ctrl + Shift + 1

8. Format as Time

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + 2
  • Mac: Ctrl + Shift + 2

9. Format as Date

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + 3
  • Mac: Ctrl + Shift + 3

10. Format as Currency

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + 4
  • Mac: Ctrl + Shift + 4

11. Format as Percentage

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + 5
  • Mac: Ctrl + Shift + 5

Formulas

There are very few shortcuts related to formulas; however, the ones included below are almost certain to be useful.

1. Show Formulas

You can show the formulas in your cells, rather than the result of the calculations, by using the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Ctrl + ~
  • Mac: Ctrl + `

2. Insert ARRAYFORMULA Function

When you finish typing your formula, use the shortcut below to add the ARRAYFORMULA function.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Enter
  • Mac: Cmd + Shift + Enter

3. Absolute/Relative References

When writing a formula, use the shortcut below to toggle between absolute and relative referencing.

  • Windows: F4
  • Mac: Fn + F4

There are some very useful shortcuts related to navigation that can save you a lot of clicking and scrolling through your spreadsheet.

1. Move to Beginning of Row

To move to the beginning of your current row, use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Home
  • Mac: Fn + Left Arrow

2. Move to End of Row

To move to the end of your current row, use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: End
  • Mac: Fn + Right Arrow

3. Move to Beginning of Sheet

Use this shortcut to navigate instantly to the beginning of your spreadsheet: the cell in the top-left corner.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Home
  • Mac: Cmd + Fn + Left Arrow

4. Move to End of Sheet

The shortcut below allows you to navigate instantly to the end of your spreadsheet: the cell in the bottom-right corner.

  • Windows: Ctrl + End
  • Mac: Cmd + Fn + Right Arrow

5. Move to Previous Sheet

You can move to the previous sheet in your spreadsheet by using the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Alt + Up Arrow
  • Mac: Option + Up Arrow

6. Move to Next Sheet

To move to the next sheet in your spreadsheet, use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Alt + Down Arrow
  • Mac: Option + Down Arrow

7. Display List of Sheets

Use the shortcut below anywhere in your spreadsheet to display the list of available sheets.

  • Windows: Alt + Shift + k
  • Mac: Option + Shift + k
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8. Open Revision History

You can use this shortcut anywhere in your spreadsheet to open its revision history.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + h
  • Mac: Cmd + Option + Shift + h

9. Move to Quicksum

Select the range of cells and use the shortcut to move to the quicksum button on the bottom-right corner of your spreadsheet. If you then press ‘Enter’, the rest of the quick calculations will be displayed.

  • Windows: Alt + Shift + q
  • Mac: Option + Shift + q

Select & Edit Rows & Columns

1. Select Column

Click on a cell and use the shortcut below to select the entire column.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Space
  • Mac: Ctrl + Space

2. Select Row

Click on a cell and use the shortcut below to select the entire row.

  • Windows: Shift + Space
  • Mac: Shift + Space

3. Insert Column Left

Select one or more columns and use the shortcut below to insert the same number of columns to the left of your selection.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + +
  • Mac: Cmd + Shift + -

4. Insert Row Above

Select one or more rows and use the shortcut below to insert the same number of rows above your selection.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + +
  • Mac: Cmd + Shift + -

5. Delete Columns

Select the columns you want to delete and use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Alt + -
  • Mac: Cmd + Option + -

6. Delete Rows

Select the rows you want to delete and use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Ctrl + Alt + -
  • Mac: Cmd + Option + -

7. Group Rows or Columns

Select the rows or columns you want to group and use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Alt + Shift + Right Arrow
  • Mac: Option + Shift + Right Arrow

8. Ungroup Rows or Columns

Select the rows or columns you want to ungroup and use the shortcut below.

  • Windows: Alt + Shift + Left Arrow
  • Mac: Option + Shift + Left Arrow

Conclusion

Google Sheets features useful keyboard shortcuts to save you time and effort when performing common tasks. The first of these is Ctrl + / or Cmd + /, which will open the full list of keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets. In addition to the native shortcuts, you can also enable shortcuts that are compatible with Microsoft Excel.

You now know 39 must-know keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets, and you have the necessary key combinations to use them on both Windows and Mac desktop computers. If you’re used to using Microsoft Excel, you know you can enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts to use Excel shortcuts in Google Sheets. However, the number of compatible shortcuts available differs according to whether you use Windows or Mac: 130+ and 20, respectively.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Feb 25 2023, Updated Jun 26 2023

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