By Nadia Jones
If you're a busy college student, the more ways you have to accomplish things quickly, the better. That's where things like keyboard shortcuts can come in handy, especially when you're trying to enter data efficiently and professionally into a spreadsheet, like those offered on Google. Here are some shortcuts and tips you can use to improve your Google spreadsheets skills, get homework over with, and go back to having fun, just being a college student.
Here are some amazing features that you might not have even known were offered through Google Spreadsheets.
- Fill themselves in. Using Google Forms, you can email questions and data to others and it will automatically fill in your spreadsheet, making it very easy to collect information.
- Revert to an earlier version. If you're sharing access to a document in Google spreadsheets, you might want to go back to an earlier version before someone made changes. The program makes that simple. Click on File and then revision history to make changes.
- Chat while editing. Because Google has many integrated features, you can chat with your classmates, research subjects or professors while you chart data.
- Insert a formula. Formulas can make you life a whole lot easier, allowing you to perform functions on a cell or a group of cells to better organize and analyze your data.
- Spice it up with gadgets. Why stick with a boring old spreadsheet when you can spice things up with some gadgets? Try out a few to make your data much more visually appealing.
- Track your finances. If your spreadsheet is related to the stock market, then Google makes things pretty simple by integrating Google Finance with Google Spreadsheets.
- Google search inside a spreadsheet. Think of a question while you're working on your spreadsheet? Get answers without ever leaving it with a feature that lets you use Google search right within your document.
- Color code it. If you want to better organize your data, colors can be a big help. With Google Spreadsheets, it's simple to color code and highlight just about anything you want. If you want to get fancy, you can have these colors automatically change within a given set of guidelines.
- Track changes. Whether you're working with a group or on your own, it can be useful to track your changes as you go. You can see them in a list or receive emails each time a change is made.
These keyboard shortcuts are essential to working with Google Spreadsheets.
- Ctrl+A: Hit these keys and you'll select all the data in your spreadsheet.
- Ctrl+S: While Google Spreadsheets has an autosave function, you'll still want to save using this shortcut as well.
- Ctrl+W: When you're done with your work, hit control and the W key to close the document.
- Ctrl+Shift+S: If you need more than one copy of your spreadsheet, this combination of keys will let you easily make a duplicate.
- Ctrl+O: To get started with work, use this shortcut to open an existing document.
- Ctrl+P: Sometimes you just need a hard copy to look at. Hit these keys to print one.
- Ctrl+N: Start a new project by using this shortcut which brings up a new document.
- Ctrl+Z: Made a mistake? No problem, simply undo the changes using these keys.
- Ctrl+Y: Want to undo that undo? Hit control and Y to redo any action again.
Alignment and Formatting
Want to make your data easier to read or more visually appealing? These keyboard shortcuts can help.
- Ctrl+B: Give your data intensity by putting it in bold with this shortcut.
- Ctrl+I: This combination of keys will help you italicize the proper words.
- Ctrl+U: Whether you want to draw emphasis or acknowledge a title, these keys will help you underline your work.
- Alt+Shift+&: If you need some borders around your data use this to add them. If you want to get rid of them, use Alt+Shift+_ to do the job.
- Alt+Shift+T: Say you only need a border around one side, however? This shortcut has you covered, adding borders to the top. For borders on the right, bottom and left, simply substitute R, B or L for the T.
- Alt+Shift+5: Want to negate data without removing it? This will let you strikethrough whatever you have in a particular cell.
- Ctrl+Enter: If you need a line break in your document, use this shortcut.
- Alt+Enter: Similarly, if you want a new line in the same cell, this shortcut will help.
Clean up and refine your spreadsheet data by using these great shortcuts for editing.
- Ctrl+C: To copy data, use this common keyboard combo.
- Ctrl+V: Use this to paste any information you've cut or copied.
- Ctrl+X: If you want to do away with some information or data, use this combo to cut it out.
- Ctrl+M: Make a comment about your spreadsheet using these keys.
- Esc: If you have a change of heart about entering data into a cell, simply click escape to cancel.
- Shift+Spacebar: To edit an entire row of data, use this keyboard shortcut. It will highlight an entire row at once.
- Ctrl+Spacebar: Similarly, these keys will highlight an entire column.
- F2: Make it simple to edit the active cell by hitting F2.
Move all around your spreadsheet and between different documents using these shortcuts.
- Ctrl+Home: Move to the top of your document using these keys.
- Ctrl+End: If you need to go all the way to the bottom, just hit these keys instead of scrolling.
- Arrow keys: With the arrow keys, you can move up or down, left or right one cell at a time.
- Tab: The tab key will help you move the active cell one to the right.
- Shift+Tab: Go back to the left one active cell by using these keys.
- End: With this shortcut, you'll move to the end of a row.
- Ctrl+Backspace: Hit this combo to scroll to the active cell when multiple cells are selected.
- Ctrl+Shift+PageUp/Down: If you've got multiple spreadsheets open, use these shortcuts to switch sheets.
- Ctrl+Arrow Keys: These keys will let you move to the top, bottom, left or right most cell in a given row or column.
Still need more shortcuts? These will help you do everything from add the time to insert a hyperlink.
- Ctrl+K: Insert a hyperlink into your data using this handy shortcut.
- Ctrl+F: Can't find what you're looking for in your data? Use these keystrokes to open a search box.
- Ctrl+': If you're not sure what formulas you can use on Google Spreadsheets, use this shortcut to open up a list.
- Ctrl+;: Insert the current date with this shortcut.
- Ctrl+:: This will help you to insert the current time.
- Ctrl+/: Having trouble with the keyboard shortcuts? This will open a help window.
- Ctrl+Shift+Enter: Try out this combination to change a wrap formula to an array formula.