Cheat Sheet

Excel 2013 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Excel 2013 For Dummies

By Greg Harvey

At first glance, you might have trouble making sense of the many menus, tabs, columns, and rows of the Excel 2013 user interface. However, this Cheat Sheet will help you navigate your way by showing you keystrokes for moving the cell cursor to a new cell, simple rules of data-entry etiquette, and common causes of some formula error values.

Moving the Cell Cursor in Excel 2013 Spreadsheets

Excel 2013 offers a wide variety of keystrokes for moving the cell cursor to a new cell. When you use one of these keystrokes, the program automatically scrolls a new part of the worksheet into view, if this is required to move the cell pointer.

The following table summarizes these keystrokes, including how far each one moves the cell pointer from its starting position.

Keystroke Where the Cell Cursor Moves
Right arrow or Tab Cell to the immediate right.
Left arrow or Shift+Tab Cell to the immediate left.
Up arrow Cell up one row.
Down arrow Cell down one row.
Home Cell in Column A of the current row.
Ctrl+Home First cell (A1) of the worksheet.
Ctrl+End or End, Home Cell in the worksheet at the intersection of the last column
that has data in it and the last row that has data in it (that is,
the last cell of the so-called active area of the worksheet).
Page Up Cell one full screen up in the same column.
Page Down Cell one full screen down in the same column.
Ctrl+Right arrow or End, Right arrow First occupied cell to the right in the same row that is either
preceded or followed by a blank cell. If no cell is occupied, the
pointer goes to the cell at the very end of the row.
Ctrl+Left arrow or End, Left arrow First occupied cell to the left in the same row that is either
preceded or followed by a blank cell. If no cell is occupied, the
pointer goes to the cell at the very beginning of the row.
Ctrl+Up arrow or End, Up arrow First occupied cell above in the same column that is either
preceded or followed by a blank cell. If no cell is occupied, the
pointer goes to the cell at the very top of the column.
Ctrl+Down arrow or End, Down arrow First occupied cell below in the same column that is either
preceded or followed by a blank cell. If no cell is occupied, the
pointer goes to the cell at the very bottom of the column.
Ctrl+Page Down The cell pointer’s location in the next worksheet of that
Ctrl+Page Up The cell pointer’s location in the previous worksheet of that

When moving the cell cursor by using the keystrokes listed in the table, keep the following helpful hints in mind:

  • In the case of those keystrokes that use arrow keys, you must either use the arrows on the cursor keypad or else have the Num Lock disengaged on the numeric keypad of your physical keyboard.

  • The keystrokes that combine the Ctrl or End key with an arrow key are among the most helpful for moving quickly from one edge to the other in large tables of cell entries or for moving from table to table in a section of a worksheet with many blocks of cells.

  • When you use Ctrl and an arrow key on a physical keyboard to move from edge to edge in a table or between tables in a worksheet, you hold down Ctrl while you press one of the four arrow keys. When you do this with the Touch keyboard on a touchscreen device, you tap the Ctrl key and then the arrow key sequentially.

  • When you use End and an arrow-key alternative, you must press and then release the End key before you press the arrow key. Pressing and releasing the End key causes the End mode indicator to appear on the Status bar. This is your sign that Excel is ready for you to press one of the four arrow keys.

Excel 2013 Data-Entry Etiquette

To begin to work on a new Excel 2013 spreadsheet, you simply start entering information in the first sheet of the Book1 workbook window. Here are a few simple guidelines (a kind of data-entry etiquette) to keep in mind when you create an Excel spreadsheet in Sheet1 of a new workbook:

  • Whenever you can, organize your information in tables of data that use adjacent (neighboring) columns and rows. Start the tables in the upper-left corner of the worksheet and work your way down the sheet, rather than across the sheet, whenever possible. When it’s practical, separate each table by no more than a single column or row.

  • When you set up these tables, don’t skip columns and rows just to “space out” the information. To place white space between information in adjacent columns and rows, you can widen columns, heighten rows, and change the alignment.

  • Reserve a single column at the left edge of the table for the table’s row headings.

  • Reserve a single row at the top of the table for the table’s column headings.

  • If your table requires a title, put the title in the row above the column headings. Put the title in the same column as the row headings.

Deciphering Error Values in Excel 2013 Formulas

You can tell right away that an Excel 2013 formula has gone haywire because instead of a nice calculated value, you get a strange, incomprehensible message. This weirdness is, in the parlance of Excel 2013 spreadsheets, an error value. Its purpose is to let you know that some element — either in the formula itself or in a cell referred to by the formula — is preventing Excel from returning the anticipated calculated value.

The following table lists some Excel 2013 error values and their most common causes.

What Shows Up in the Cell What’s Going On Here?
#DIV/0! Appears when the formula calls for division by a cell that
either contains the value 0 or, as is more often the case, is
empty. Division by zero is a no-no in mathematics.
#NAME? Appears when the formula refers to a range name that
doesn’t exist in the worksheet. This error value appears when you
type the wrong range name or fail to enclose in quotation marks
some text used in the formula, causing Excel to think that the text
refers to a range name.
#NULL! Appears most often when you insert a space (where you should
have used a comma) to separate cell references used as arguments
for functions.
#NUM! Appears when Excel encounters a problem with a number in the
formula, such as the wrong type of argument in an Excel function or
a calculation that produces a number too large or too small to be
represented in the worksheet.
#REF! Appears when Excel encounters an invalid cell reference, such
as when you delete a cell referred to in a formula or paste cells
over the cells referred to in a formula.
#VALUE! Appears when you use the wrong type of argument or operator in
a function, or when you call for a mathematical operation that
refers to cells that contain text entries.