F10 – It is for showing the tips

Out of the following combinations for F10, I find one of them really useful.  Wanna guess which one?

Let’s take a quick look at what F10 does:

  • F10 alone – Shows the shortcut key for the commands on the Ribbon and QAT
  • Shift+F10 – Shows the shortcut menu for a selected cell or item
  • Alt+F10 – Turns on / off Selection Pane
  • Alt+Shift+F10 – Shows the menu for an Error Checking button
  • Ctrl+F10 – Restores or Maximizes the window of a workbook

F10 alone – Show the shortcut key for the commands on Ribbon and QAT

Excel Tips - F10

Note: Alt key performs the same action; and I prefer Alt key!

Shift+F10 – Show the shortcut menu for a selected cell or item

Excel Tips - F10 (1)

It is more or less the same as right-click a cell / object.

By the way, do you know Menu Key?    I use Menu Key a lot when I work with filtered range.  Take a look at HERE.

Alt+F10 – Turn on / off Selection Pane

First of all, Selection Pane is “hidden” under Home Tab –> Editing Group –> Find & Select.

Excel Tips - Alt F10

To skip all the clicks, simply press Alt+F10 to turn it on and off.

Excel Tips - Alt F10 (1)

Do you use “Selection Pane”?  If you work with lots of objects, be it Chart, TextBox, Picture, etc., you will find Selection Pane really helpful, especially if you name your objects in a meaningful way.  However, this is not my favorite combination of F10.  :P

Alt+Shift+F10 – Show the menu for an Error Checking button

Have you ever wanted to open the menu of a smart tag (can’t help myself calling it smart tag) Error Checking button, without using a mouse?

Excel Tips - Alt Shift F10

It is as simple as this:

Excel Tips - Alt Shift F10 (1)

And this is the combination I find really useful.

Here’s the situation:

I need to append (thousands of rows) data to a worksheet in Excel every week.  The new data is generated from SAP and it gives me all number stored as text.  I don’t mind having number stored as text in my case but the little green triangles all over the sheet are quite annoying; and somehow slow down the spreadsheet a bit.  I don’t want to turn off the error checking options.  Therefore I manually select the range of cells (normally more than 1000 cells), then you can imagine I need to scroll up to where I can see the Error Checking button that is always sitting next to the active cell, and then click on it,  and then select “Ignore Error” just to get rid of the little green triangles.  What a tedious task!

The shortcuts for this is much much more efficient:

  1. Select the range (say B2000:B3000″), by holding Shift + Down Arrow key in cell B2000
  2. Ctrl+Backspace to return to active cell, where I see the Error Checking button
  3. Alt+Shift+F10 to open the menu for the button
  4. Press I to “Ignore Error”

This is much faster!  Try it.

Ctrl+F10 – Restore or Maximize the window of a workbook

Excel Tips - Ctrl F10

Its close friends are Ctrl+F5 that restores window of a workbook; Ctrl+F9 that minimizes window of a workbook.


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 with us your tips in using F10.

For other Function keys:

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

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