Under Ctrl – Excel Ctrl shortcut keys

Here are some great Excel keyboard shortcuts, which all financial modelling professionals should know about. All of these Excel Ctrl shortcuts can greatly improve the speed, efficiency and accuracy when building or editing financial models

Microsoft Excel has a vast array of Excel Ctrl shortcuts. This video and blog will feature, in my opinion, the top 10 most used or important Excel Ctrl shortcuts for financial modelling. Hence, some model users may have a greater personal preference for other Excel Ctrl shortcuts.

Excel AGGREGATEStrategize Financial Modelling – Ctrl combination shortcut keys.xlsm


1. Format Cell. Using Ctrl + 1

Clearly this shortcut allows model users a variety of format options, with the selected cell or array of cells. Whether it is the number format in this example. The special formatting of cells, the font or border. Or if it is applying the Fill & Border format to cells.

The Ctrl + 1 is a must shortcut in financial modelling.


2. Save Workbook. Via Ctrl + S

Crucially Excel spreadsheet users should periodically save their work – say every 5 to 10 minutes. This example illustrates how, changes to the workbook must be readily saved via the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut.

As we can see this shortcut will update the workbook based on its file location. For illustrative reasons, this workbook is saved to the Desktop.


3. Undo. Courtesy of Ctrl + Z

This shortcut enables a fast and effective way to undo any erroneous changes or inputs. As we can see, this shortcut will instantly revert back to a previous version of our work.


4. Copy. Thanks to Ctrl + C

We will be able to copy a cell or array, courtesy of this keyboards shortcut. Evidently it will save us time from having to recreate this data array.


5. Paste. Using Crtl + V

Based on the copied cells in the previous worksheet, this shortcut will facilitate an effortless reproduction of the data – somewhere else in the spreadsheet.

We can witness the use of these copy and paste keyboard shortcuts again.


6. Cut. Applying Ctrl + X

This illustration of telephone data by country can be readily edited, thanks to the cut shortcut, where we want to move some data to the right. In order to facilitate the addition of an extra column of information – Region.

Or perhaps we want to move the Vietnam data to the row below. One approach is to cut this array out – courtesy of Ctrl + X.


7. Outline Border format to selected cells. Employing Ctrl + &

This example summarises Stock Indices market data.

Below we have a summary of prices for CAC, KOSPI and Nikkei. We want to format these cells by applying the outline border, which the Ctrl + & shortcut will readily do – instead of the more onerous avenue via Format Cells


8. Bold Formatting. Thanks to Ctrl + B

In certain instances, it’s wise to format some cell text in bold format – especially model assumptions cells. Obviously it helps to improve the clarity of the spreadsheet to users. 

This keyboard shortcut will achieve this in a faster way.

Please note Ctrl + 1 is an alternative shortcut.


9. Italic Formatting. Via Ctrl + I

Similarly, italic formatting in some instances can improve a financial model’s aesthetic appeal. Changes in working capital elements in a cash flow statement demonstrates the shortcut’s value.

Please note Ctrl + 2 is an alternative shortcut.


10. Find and Replace. Applying Ctrl + H

Finally this shortcut is a great way to readily edit a cell. A great example is building out the titles in a Balance Sheet, where we have copied and pasted the Current Assets cell, down to cell that is designated for Non-Current Assets.

By using Find and Replace, we can seamlessly effect the changes of the cell.



As you can see, the use of Ctrl keyboard shortcuts improves the ability to build and manage financial models.