F5 – It is the key I rarely press

The working combinations for F5.

  • F5 alone – Open the Go To Dialog box
  • Ctrl+F5 – restore the window size of the selected workbook
  • Shift+F5 – Open Find (and Replace)
  • Alt+F5 – Refresh Pivot Table
  • Ctrl+Alt+F5 – Refresh All

Nevertheless, it takes you to two must-know tools in Excel: Go To, and Find and Replace.

F5 alone

I prefer Ctrl+G which performs the same task: Open the Go To Dialog box

Excel Tip - F5 (go to)

Although I don’t use F5 at all, it doesn’t mean I don’t use Go To either.  On the contrary, Go To is one of my favorites in Excel.  It takes you to anywhere in Excel like a teleporter.

Go to Special is even more important.  It could be a time-saver when you know how to use it.  You may find my posts related to Go to Special HERE.

Ctrl+F5 – restore the window size of the selected workbook

You won’t notice its existence unless you have a window minimized or size adjusted.Excel Tip - F5 (restore window size)

Obviously, it restores the windows size.  :P

Shift+F5 – Open Find (and Replace)

Excel Tip - F5 (Find and replace)

Since I have already built a habit of using Ctrl+F for “Find“; Ctrl+H for “Find and Replace“, I don’t use Shift+F5 at all.

Find and Replace is very useful in text manipulation, especially when used with wildcards.  You may find my posts related to Find and Replace HERE.

Alt+F5 – Refresh Pivot Table

Excel Tip - Alt+F5

Note: Select the Pivot Table beforehand for this shortcut to work.

This is the only occasion I prefer F5 as I don’t know the alternative of doing so, except Right-Click –> Refresh.

Ctrl+Alt+F5 – Refresh All

Excel Tip - Ctrl+Alt+F5

If you have more than one Pivot cache, or data coming from data sources like Web, Ctrl+Alt+F5 will refresh all.


The shortcut combinations stated above have been tested with Excel 2010.  If you find it doesn’t work in other version of Excel, please let us know by leaving your comment.

Also feel free to share your tips in using F5 key.

For other Function keys:

F1  F2  F3  F4  F5  F6  F7  F8  F9  F10  F11  F12

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