Excel keyboard shortcuts

2006/06/22 by Lassi A. Liikkanen

Customize keyboard shortcuts for Excel

Excel doesn't provide a direct dialogue to set your own keyboard shortcuts unlike Word. However, this deficiency can be worked around by recording Excel macros and assigning shortcut keys to them. Macros are then stored under a common workbook, which is automatically loaded every time Excel starts. Under the hood, this is the same procedure as in Word.

How to do it

Recording macros is quite easy. You just perform the actions you would like to do with one keyboard action and let the Excel observe your actions. Select
Tools -> Macro -> Record New Macro.
Give the macro an appropriate name and choose your shortcut key (you can add Shift but not Alt key). The most important selection is to Store macro in selection where you must pick the Personal Macro Workbook. This means that the macro will be stored in the personal workbook (PERSONAL.XLS)that is always loaded. Next perform the action you are giving the shortcut and then click Stop in the small window above Excel sheet. And that's it. The resulting personal workbook with your new macro will be stored in your own directory (C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\PERSONAL.XLS), so you can customize it later on.

Recording a new macro in Excel

Gotchas

Eventhough or because of PERSONAL.XLS is loaded everytime you open Excel, it is not normally shown as an open document. You must choose Windows -> Unhide... to show it. This will become necessary if you want to edit (Alt+F8) the macro you've just recorded, because Excel won't let you edit macros from hidden workbooks.

Creating macros in Excel style can be tricky and it is a whole another subject by itself. For example, in order to create a macro for pasting values with formats, you need to be able to perform the action. In this case, you would need to have data on clipboard available before you start recording or otherwise you'll have to edit the macro. See the references for more information.

There is actually a second option for storing keyboard macros. You can also haveBook.xlt in addition to PERSONAL.XLS. See MeadInKent.co.uk's page for more details.

References

http://www.meadinkent.co.uk/excel.htm - good collection of Excel tips and customization
http://www.exceltip.com/se/26.html
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/personalxls.htm http://www.mcse.ms/archive145-2005-7-1713100.html

Keywords: [computers] , [windows] Document's status: Ok (Document dates explained)

This document created: 2006/06/22
Modified: 2006/06/22
Published: (date missing / pvm. puuttuu)


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