Excel double-click shortcuts

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As part of our continuing trans-Atlantic skills exchange, David Ringstrom from AccountingWEB.com highlights some nifty time Excel time-savers at the finger-tips of your mouse hand.

Clicking once on an Excel menu is the foundation of the windows-icon-mouse-pointer interface convention at the heart of Microsoft Office (and most other) programs. But clicking again in many instances can uncover hidden shortcuts. This article collects together 13 places where double-clicking can save you extra time and effort.

The full version of this article includes detailed instructions on using double-clicks to:

1. Skip the OK button

2. Maximise file windows

3. Split a worksheet

4. Automate the Fill handle 

5. Lock the Format Painter 

6. Rename a worksheet tab 

7. Adjust column widths 

8. Collapse the ribbon 

9. Navigate a worksheet 

10. Edit a cell 

11. Identify Precedent Cells 

12. Close Excel 

13. Drill down in Pivot Tables


About the author

"Either you work Excel, or it works you!" says David Ringstrom CPA, the head of Atlanta-based software and database consultancy Accounting Advisors. He presents Excel training webcasts for CPE Link and contributes articles on Excel to AccountingWEB and Microsoft Professional Accountant's Network newsletter. He can be reached by email at david[AT]acctadv.com.

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About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and AccountingWEB.com.


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31st May 2012 13:39

Locking the format painter - excellent! Never knew that & its been bugging me for ages that I had to click on it each time!

Thanks (3)
By Alf
01st Jun 2012 09:06

Locking Border Draw/Eraser

Is there a way to lock the Border Draw/Eraser in a similar way to the Fromat painter?

Thanks (0)
01st Jun 2012 09:58

Double Clicking

Excel lent tips, many thanks. 

I often get Excel cells which constantly prevent me from entering the correct data, usually I'm trying to input a date, but it keeps entering some other figure instead.  It must be something locked into the format but I have only been able to disable it once and now I can't remember how I did it!

Can anyone help. Thanks

Thanks (0)
01st Jun 2012 13:40

Dates and formats

If you have cells that are formatted with a number format, rather than general, they might display dates as numbers. Change the cell format to a date format - the control+# keyboard shortcut will apply a date format.([email protected] for a time format).

Thanks (0)
to bernard michael
01st Jun 2012 14:50


Many thanks Shurst - that worked - simples

Thanks (0)
05th Jun 2012 16:19

Excel Shortcuts

I like Collapse the ribbon as the tabs then look like the pre-2007 Menu bar.  You can select using the Alt key + significant letter e.g. Alt+W for View.  Holding down the Alt key on its own displays the letters in a small box on each of the tabs.

I must confess I have experienced the Navigate a worksheet double click by accident but thought it was a bug not a feature!!  Using Excel for 15 years but still learning.

Many thanks for all the tips.

Thanks (1)
07th Jun 2012 11:19

Great Work !


Thank you


The Pivot table and format painting tips are excellent.

Thanks (1)
15th Jun 2012 15:38

Number 5...

...is such a top tip!


If excelzone do awards for the year then I am nominating Simon for this tip - I've been frustrated by this for years!

Thanks (1)
15th Jun 2012 15:56

Maybe not this time but....

Hi Adrian - whilst I'd be really pleased to accept the nomination, if it's number 5 of the original tips that you are referring to, then the nomination should go to David who wrote the article. Mind you, I did include the same tip in a compendium entry 6 years ago (amazingly, to the exact day!): https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/topic/technology/excelzone-compendium-formatting-simon-hurst

Thanks (1)