Three Easy Formatting Hotkeys

In honor of International Keyboard Shortcut Day, here are three easy to remember shortcuts for formatting text.

Ctrl+B: Makes the selected text bold. Get it? ‘B’ is the first letter of ‘bold’.

Ctrl+I: Makes the selected text italics. Get it? ‘I’ is the first letter of ‘italics’.

Ctrl+U: Makes the selected text underlined. Get it? Of course you do.

8 thoughts on “Three Easy Formatting Hotkeys

  1. I use the first two all the time. I use the third one exactly never. I never find need to underline anything in Excel (or Word).

  2. I’m with you Scott. I use it very rarely, too. In fact, I would have probably forgot about it except that I just used it the other day.

  3. While we’re on the topic of selections I have a question that I hope someone here can help with.

    Imagine that a range of cells has been selected, whether via keyboard or mouse+CTRL – is there a way to deselect a specific item? E.g. a user has painstakingly selected a number of cells (or rows or columns) and they suddenly realize that they didn’t want one of them. Is there a way to deselect that one item, or are they SOL and have to start the selection process over again?

  4. @David, you can’t make a comment like that without telling us what that line of work is!

  5. @VvM, if you google “excel deselect cells” you’ll find that there’s no built-in way. The most common answer is to use some code written by Chip Pearson, which I assume works great like everything else he does.

    One answer that occurs to me is to turn on the macro recorder before you start selecting. When I do that and select a bunch of overlapping ranges, they are each added to the code separately, like:


    If you make a mistake, stop the macro recorder, clear your selection, delete the offending range from the line of code and run it. In my two minutes of testing it works great :).

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