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The 15 function-key strokes everyone should know to zip around Microsoft Office

Michael Ansaldo | Jan. 16, 2015
Despite Microsoft Office's evolution toward menu-driven shortcuts, it's worth remembering those funky Fn keys still serve a purpose. As part of key combos in Word, Excel, and Outlook, they make it easier and faster to perform commonly used commands.

12. Create cell reference

F4 toggles thru formulas to create absolute or relative cell references. In this case, the graphic below is worth a thousand words for explaining this feature.

13. Display Macro dialog box

Alt+F8 displays the Macro dialog box, which provides the options to Run, Step Through, Edit, Delete, or customize any macro.

14. Calculate the active worksheet

It takes time to recalculate a really huge worksheet, especially if it's loaded with formulas. So, many power users turn off the "auto-calculate" feature (File>Options>Formulas, then click Manual under Calculation Options-Workbook Calculation). Once disabled, you'll be able to work more quickly, When you're finished entering and editing text and formulas, press Shift-F9 to recalculate everything.

15. Create a chart with data in current range

F11 creates a chart of the data in the active range of the active worksheet. However, highlighting the range first could save time when editing the chart.

Let us know your favorite function-key strokes for Office in the comments. And stay tuned for more tips.


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