Excel Skin Makes Shortcuts Easy


There are four primary modifier keys: Shift, Control, Option, and Command. The function key, fn, may also be considered a modifier key for our purposes. Descriptive text for keyboard shortcuts is printed in colors that correspond to modifier keys.


“Edit an Active Cell”. (F2 for PC users) is a simple and useful shortcut on the “U” key. On the Excel Skin, the shortcut key’s text is written in yellow.

Looking at the modifier keys, we see that “Control” is also written in yellow.

Therefore, we hit Control + “U” to edit an active cell.

Some shortcuts require more than one modifier key. “AutoSum” is written in green.

Looking at the modifier keys, we see that green appears on both the Shift and Command keys. 

To perform an AutoSum function, we hit Shift + Command + “T.”

AutoSum Shortcut Mac Excel

It’s that easy.

Function Keys

Many people find shortcuts involving function keys (F1-F12) to be confusing. This is understandable because function keys are unique in two ways: 1) Function key shortcuts require the user to hit fn in addition to the designated modifier key combination and 2) default operating system shortcuts override certain application shortcuts.

First, note that “Check Spelling” is written in white text on the F7 key.

Unlike the rest of the keyboard, where white text prompts Shift + Control (the two modifier keys with white on them), white text on function keys means you should type fn + F7.

So remember to hit fn when using a function key shortcut.

Second, take a look at the F11 key on which “New Sheet” is written in blue text.

Since this is blue text on a function key, we know the key combination is fn + Shift + F11. Try it out. If you did not successfully add a new sheet, then your application windows probably receded towards the corners of your screen. This means that your Mac’s operating system has default shortcuts that are overriding those in Excel 2011. No big deal, you just need to adjust your user settings in System Preferences. Visit our blog for instructions on Setting up your Mac for Excel.