For this lesson you need to open the sample file: The Wealth of Nations from your Sample Files Folder.
Many years ago I took my mouse and stuck it to the back of my monitor with sticky tape. For a whole day I struggled to work without it. The first few hours weren't much fun, but after that my work became faster and faster. It became a challenge to figure out how to do things without the mouse. You'll be far more productive if you can get into the same habit.
These days there's some things that you simply need the mouse for, and some things that are genuinely faster or easier with the mouse. But for many common tasks you'll find it faster and more efficient to work with the keyboard. And it's become a lot easier to work with the keyboard since Excel 2007, because Excel now has Key Tips.
Let's begin by making cell B2, that's the cell with Qatar written in it, into the active cell. I'll do that by clicking once onto cell B2 with the mouse.
Now if you accidentally double click on cell B2, you'll enter Edit Mode and you'll see a flashing bar in the cell. If you've done this by accident, just click away from the cell and then click on it again, this time being careful to only click once.
Now in previous lessons, you learned how to use the Bold, Italic and Underline buttons. Let's use those now on the text in cell B2. So I make sure I've clicked the Home tab on the Ribbon and, in the Font group, I'll click the Bold button once, the Italic button once, and the Underline button once.
But let's see how we could do the same thing using Key Tips. To show Key Tips, hold down the Alt key on your keyboard. And notice how Key Tips are now displayed on the Ribbon tabs and also on the options on the Quick Access Toolbar.
I need the Home tab, so I'll press the H key on the keyboard. And when I do this, you can see that letters and numbers have appeared for all of the commands on the Home tab of the Ribbon.
I'm now going to use one of the Key Tips to remove the bold attribute from the text in cell B2. So underneath the Bold button there's the Number 1. I'll press the Number 1 on the keyboard now and the Bold attribute is removed.
Key Tips are useful but they're a little longwinded. I had to press three keys in order to remove the Bold attribute.
For the commonest commands such as the Bold, Italic and Underline Attributes, Excel provides Keyboard Shortcuts. Shortcuts are a lot faster than using Key Tips. You really have to commit Keyboard Shortcuts to memory to make them useful, but if you've forgotten what the shortcuts are, you can always find them by hovering the mouse cursor over the buttons. Let's try that now. I'll hover over the Bold button and you can see Bold (Ctrl+B). This is telling me that holding down the Control and B buttons on my keyboard will make the text bold or remove a bold attribute. On Italic it's (Ctrl+I). And for Underline (Ctrl+U). So they're very easy to remember.
I use these three keyboard shortcuts every day, so I strongly recommend that you get into the habit of using them. Let's try them now. First of all, let me try and make the text in cell B2 bold. So I'll hold down the Control key on the keyboard and press the B key, and you can see that worked.
And now I'll remove the italic attribute by holding down the Control key and pressing I.
I'll remove the underline by holding down Control and pressing U.
And I'll remove bold by holding down Control and pressing B. You can see how fast that was.
Let's see how quickly I can add and remove the three attributes using control keys. I'll hold down Control and I'll type B, U, I.I've added all three.
And let's get rid of them.I, U, B, and they're gone.
So you can see how much quicker it is to use keyboard shortcuts instead of using the mouse.
Now let's look at another way of increasing efficiency with Excel: the Mini Toolbar. I'm going to double click in cell B2 to enter Edit Mode. And when you enter Edit Mode, you'll see that vertical flashing bar.
I'll then click to the right of the text and drag to the left in order to highlight the text. And I'm going to be careful not to move the cursor away from the cell. When I do this, you can see that a Mini Toolbar appears above the cell. And I could use this Mini Toolbar to make the text bold and italic, or to remove the bold and italic attributes, or to change the text size, or do many other common things.
I'll now click on a different cell in order to remove the Mini Toolbar.
Now perhaps you didn't see the Mini Toolbar on your computer. And if that's the case, it's probably because another user has switched it off. Personally I really like the Mini Toolbar and I wouldn't dream of switching it off, but if somebody switched it off on your computer here's how to switch it back on again.
Click File at the top left of the screen, then Options from the left hand menu bar, and General from the left hand menu bar. And notice that the first option in the User Interface options is Show Mini Toolbar on selection. And it's this checkbox that could be used to switch the Mini Toolbar off. If you find that's the case on your computer, just click the checkbox to switch it back on again, and then click OK to apply the change.
Let's now talk about the Shortcut Menu. If you right click on a cell, a shortcut menu is displayed. I'll right click now on cell B2, and there's the shortcut menu.
The shortcut menu doesn't display everything you can do to a cell, but Excel's best guesses at the most likely things you might want to do. Because Excel is guessing at the actions you might want to take, in the context of what you're doing, the shortcut menu is also sometimes referred to as the Contextual Menu.
But as well as a shortcut menu, notice that you now have an even better Mini Toolbar with more options. I'm going to use this Mini Toolbar to change the font to Algerian. And now I'll use it to change it back to the default Calibri.
And you've now completed Lesson 1-15: Use the Mini Toolbar, Key Tips and Keyboard Shortcuts.