Google Sheets: The few shortcuts you absolutely need

Perhaps you have already met that guy who could do – almost – anything in Excel without even brushing the trackpad.
Unfortunately, in Google Sheets it is more complicated to reach such a level of efficiency.

But don’t close your spreadsheet yet! There are still tons of shortcuts you can use that will get you into a productive workflow. While you can find the full list here, I will only give you the indispensable ones.

That said, I have no idea why Google Sheets developers make us juggle between Ctrl, ⌘, ⌥ and ⇧, but it doesn’t provide an easy way to remember the combinations. However it doesn’t take that long before the combinations become reflexes.

In a side note: These shortcuts apply to US keyboards, however I show you how to make the translation into your own keyboard

Navigation and selection shortcuts

One gold rule when it comes to navigating into a sheet is: leave the scrollbars alone!
With a few key combinations you will save yourself all the hassle to move your mouse cursor to the scrollbar… and trust me that is a life saver.

Go to first / last row⌘+↑ / ⌘+↓Home
Go to first / last column⌘+← / ⌘+→End
Select until first / last row:⌘+⇧+↑ / ⌘+⇧+↓⇧+Home
Select until first / last column⌘+⇧+← / ⌘+⇧+→⇧+End
Select Full table+ACtrl+A
Select whole row+Space+Space
Select whole columnCtrl+SpaceCtrl+Space

Add and remove cells

Adding and removing rows or columns is an operation that we generally apply a lot of times. using shortcuts for that is a no-brainer.

– Display a small Insert menu attached to a cell selected

– Insert row if all rows is selected
– Insert column if all columns are selected
Same operations but for “remove” operations⌘+⌥+Ctrl+Alt+⇧+


Adding a $ sign to the references can be a painful task without knowing the right screenshot

edit the active cell’s formula
Lock reference in a formulaFn+F4F4
Copy the displayed value of a cellCtrl+⇧+CCtrl+⇧+C

Find shortcuts when you don’t have a US keyboard

Unfortunately, Google has not adapted its shortcuts for outside of the United States.
To adapt to your own keys, just map your own keyboard with the US layout:

PC US Keyboard (source Wikipedia)
MAC US Keyboard (source Wikipedia)