The Complete List of Navigation Shortcut Keys for Excel

Sandeep Agarwal


I used to hate working with MS Excel sheets because it required a lot of patience. The constant switching between the mouse and the keyboard is just not fun. For working with data I needed the keyboard and for navigation I needed the mouse. And that was far from productive.

So I thought I should learn all shortcut keys which help in navigating within such worksheets. I have mastered them and now I enjoy MS Excel as much I used to hate it. And since my job at Guiding Tech is sharing what I learn, well, here we are.

Tip: We have another super guide on all MS Excel shortcut keys that work with Function keys (F1 through F12) combination.

Navigating Worksheets and Workbooks

Most of us use the mouse to navigate to adjacent worksheets on a workbook. And, to navigate to different workbooks we take help of the Windows taskbar. It’s time to learn a few shortcut keys.

To Perform ActionPress Keys
Move to the next sheet in the workbookCtrl + Page Down
Move to the previous sheet in the workbookCtrl + Page Up
Move to the next workbook windowCtrl + F6/Tab
Move to the previous workbook windowCtrl + Shift + F6/Tab
Move to the next/previous worksheet pane in a worksheet that has been splitF6/ Shift + F6

Another quick way to switch worksheets is to right-click on any sheet tab to show the list of all tabs. Then, select the tab you wish to switch to.

Navigating Cells on Worksheet

These are keys you will require almost always. And, that’s because Excel is all about data in cells. When you are working on one, you know how often you have to move from cell to cell and from one end to the other.

To Perform ActionPress Keys
Move one cell up, down, left, or rightArrow Keys
Move one cell to the rightTab
Move one cell to the leftShift + Tab
Move to the edge of the current data regionCTRL + Arrow Key
Move to the beginning of the rowHome
Move to the beginning of the worksheetCtrl + Home
Move to the next empty cell of the rowEnd
Move to the last unused cell in the bottom-most rowCtrl + End
To move down one screenPage Down
To move up one screenPage Up
To move one screen to the rightAlt + Page Down
To move one screen to the leftAlt + Page Up
To move between unlocked cells on a protected worksheetTab

Navigating Selected Ranges

I accidentally discovered that some of those cell navigation keys work differently when a block of data is selected. Then, I realized they were meant to have overridden features.

To Perform ActionPress Keys
Move from top to bottom within the selected rangeEnter
Move from bottom to top within the selected rangeShift + Enter
Move from left to right within the selected range (or down if only one column is selected)Tab
To move from right to left within the selected range (or up if only one column is selected)Shift + Tab
Move clockwise to the next corner of the selected rangeCtrl + . (Period)
Move to the next nonadjacent selected range to the rightCtrl + Alt + R Arrow
Move to the next nonadjacent selected range to the leftCtrl + Alt + L Arrow

Navigating With Scroll Lock

When you use the arrow keys or Page up/down keys to scroll, cell selection moves the distance you scroll. And then, you may lose the focus from current cell. By activating scroll lock you can navigate the window without losing cell selection. Scroll Lock key will enable/disable this mode.

To Perform ActionPress Keys
Scroll one row up or downUp/Down Arrow
Scroll one column left or rightLeft/Right Arrow
Move to the cell in the upper-left cornerHome
Move to the cell in the lower-right cornerEnd


I am sure these shortcuts will prove useful to you. Apart from just reducing the time and effort, they will make working with Excel a charm.

Image Credit: Martin Fisch

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