Keyboard Shortcut – Creating & Closing Workbooks; The Power of Alt + F4

At Marquee, we are strong advocates of using the keyboard for all things Excel. This includes the creation of new workbooks right up to and including the closing of these workbooks – or even the closing of Excel itself.

Most people know that CTRL + N will create a new workbook in Excel. However, there are many different ways to close workbooks. Both CTRL + W and CTRL + F4 will close the current workbook. If you would like to close all workbooks that are open, as well as Excel itself, the shortcut that will achieve this is Alt + F4. Note that in Excel 2013 and later, Alt + F4 will either close the current workbook (if there are many workbooks open), or close the current workbook and Excel itself (if it is the only workbook open).

We also like ALT + F4 for the following common issue in Excel. If you are a frequent user of the F2 key, you have likely accidentally pressed F1 – which of course brings up the Excel help dialogue box. While pressing the Escape key will typically close a dialogue box in Excel, in this instance it has no effect. However, ALT + F4 will conveniently close this dialogue box – just as quickly as it was opened. Note that in Excel 2016, the shortcut to close the Excel help dialogue box is CTRL + Spacebar + C.

Alt + F4 can also be used outside of Excel – it is a universal shortcut for Windows that will close any application.