The Excel Skinny

A blog about Excel and its users

This has to be the coolest shortcut for us Microsoft Excel nerds that happen to categorize or use the same labels for multiple cells.  What does this shortcut do?  It displays the AutoComplete list for your Excel spreadsheet. 

I use this often when I’ve been adding comments next to cells and have created a pretty substantial AutoComplete list.  I remember one spreadsheet where I had to manually verify how a list of invoices were paid.  Options included everything from “Credited” to “Open” to payment methods like “Check” or “Wire”.  What is cool about the Excel AutoComplete feature is I only had to type Cr for Credited to autocomplete and just a W for Wire to autocomplete.

Anyways! This shortcut basically drops down a list of all the saved phrases that have been added to the AutoComplete list in your Excel spreadsheet.  This way you can see every comment you have entered more than once.  

Step 1: You must have comments or duplicates in your spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel to recognize an autocomplete list is needed.  Once you have built an autocomplete list (you will know when this is done if Excel tries to autocomplete cells for you) click on a cell that holds an autocomplete phrase.  

I keep track of when I write up the blog posts for shortcuts so Excel has started to autocomplete the dates for me.  For this shortcut to work a cell with an auto-completed entry must be active.

Step 2: Execute the shortcut:

⌥down arrow


Now the Autocomplete list will drop down and you can select an option, or just view what has been added to the list.

My autocomplete isn’t too interesting as you can see, but some lists can become rather large when you are dealing with multiple comments.  This is a great way of keeping track of duplicate comments and such.