The Alt Key Shortcuts

This tip is aimed at those of you who use keyboard shortcuts, or are interested in trying them out.

My example below uses Excel 2010, but can be applied to other Office 2010 programs

Whether they use them or not, a lot of people are at least aware of some of the basic “Ctrl+” shortcuts: Ctrl+C=Copy; Ctrl+Z=Undo; Ctrl+O=Open; Ctrl+P=Print; etc.
But, at times whether they are forgotten or overlooked, we don’t make the most of the Alt Key shortcuts

Combining the Alt key with the Quick Access Toolbar in Office can open up a lot more easy to use keyboard shortcuts for you.
In my example I am using Excel 2010. The same applies to other 2010 Office programs and also 2007 and later versions of Office. It may apply to earlier versions of Office and other programs, I can’t confirm that here, but if it isn’t directly the same, there may be an alternative option.

I have used screen-prints throughout this post, and a video at the end.

Below is a highlighted cell that I will copy with Ctrl+C.

Ctrl and C To Copy


Then I paste what I copied with Ctrl+V, but, as you can see, it pastes the full cell (format, fill, border, contents/values).

Ctrl and V to paste

If I just wanted to paste the value in the cell, I would use Paste Special Values.  This is what I then do in the video using Alt and then 4.

Alt key shortcut


Why Alt and then 4?
The button for Paste Values is the 4th one on my Quick Access Toolbar.
When I press Alt, all buttons on the QAT are numbered and the ribbons are lettered.
Pressing the number is the same as clicking the button.
Pressing the letter goes into that ribbon, the options in that menu are then lettered and you can press that letter to select that option.

In the screenshots here I press
• Alt,
• then H for the Home ribbon,
• then V for the Paste option
• then I can press P or S for the next option.

Alt Key


Alt and ribbon


Alt h and then p


Note – with the Ctrl shortcuts you press Ctrl and the other key at the same time. With the Alt key, you press and release the Alt key and then the other keys in sequence.

Note – Be wary of overpopulating your Quick Access Toolbar.  Check out this blog post for more.
In the video, you can see how quickly this can be done without having to set up, or remember multi-step shortcuts.
The video shows me copying (Ctrl+C), pasting (Ctrl+V), pasting values (Alt Then 4) and then a slowed down version of pasting values so you can see the shortcuts appearing after I press Alt.


If you cannot see the video below, you can watch it here on YouTube


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