How to quickly format cells using Excel keyboard shortcuts

There are a so many keyboard shortcuts available for performing very common tasks, which can save you a lot of time. For example, there are keyboard shortcuts available for formatting cells. In some instances, there is more than one shortcut combination that can be used to perform one function, like these:

Ctrl + 2 and Ctrl + B: apply or remove bold formatting
Ctrl + 3 and Ctrl + I: apply or remove italic formatting
Ctrl + 4 and Ctrl + U: apply or remove underline formatting

Another useful combination is the strikethrough keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + 5, helps identify items that have been completed in a list. In the steps that follow, we show you how to use all of the above keyboard shortcuts.

Note: Download the workbook to practice this exercise

Applies To: Microsoft® Excel® 2007, 2010 and 2013

  1. Highlight cells B1:C1.


2. Press Ctrl + 2 (or Ctrl + B) to bold the cells, then Ctrl +4 (or Ctrl + U) to underline the cells.


3. Highlight cells B2:B4.


4. Press Ctrl + 5 to apply strikethrough formatting to all cells.