Budgeting & Finance

Excelling with Microsoft Excel 3: Excel 2010 (Shortcuts and tips)

The key learning points I would be sharing with you today are on utilising the F4 as a shortcut function and other Excel worksheet tips. If you are interested in taking the online e-learning course administered by Alison independently, you can check out the link here >>>Microsoft Excel 2010 course.

My previous post was on Excel 2010: Accessibility options which explained how to make worksheets more user-friendly especially for the visually disabled. You can always check it out if you missed it.

Key learning points for today

  • Press F4 whenever you want to repeat the last action performed in Excel.

This saves time and there is no need to keep right clicking and going through the file menu options whenever you want an action repeated.

  • Printing worksheets with visible grid lines and headlines

This is for those who prefer to print their worksheets with all the row and column lines visible in the printout. This is nothing extraordinary but this set up option is hardly employed by users. Personally, I don’t even bother with the other options, I end up using the default print option. I guess you do too.

Here is how to access this option:

a) Press ‘Control P’ or select the print function from the file menu to go to the print view

b) Select ‘Page setup’ at the bottom of screen.

Page setup

c) Select ‘Sheet’ from the pop up window.

Page setup popup

d) Check ‘grid lines’ and ‘row and column headings’

There are other printing options such the option to display worksheet comments and how they should be displayed, cell errors, print areas and others. You can always explore them in your free time.

e) The below shows screenshots of the before and after view.

Without gridlines and headings
Without gridlines and headings
With gridlines and headlines
With gridlines and headlines


  • Place your cursor in the formula cell and press F4 whenever you want to change a relative cell reference to an absolute cell reference. Better than typing in the dollar sign manually to fix a cell reference.


  • Make use of the ‘insert function’ whenever you are stuck or unaware of a formula

a) Select formulas then click on ‘insert function’

insert function in excel

b) Type a brief description or key word in the search box and options would be made available. Voila! No need to memorise all those formulas and good thing is you can always check if a formula exists for what you seek to mathematically achieve.

Insert function popup


The next post would be on vlookup. For heads-up, Vlookup helps look up the value (the lookup value must always be in the first left column) in one column to find its corresponding value on the same row in another column. Sound confusing? I hope to break it down in the subsequent post.

Comment directly with your questions and corrections. Alternatively you can send them to omtsdigest@gmail.com. I will be happy to research and provide answers.

I am not an expert, just detailing and sharing some few tips from my personal Excel 2010 self-learning journey with Alison.