- Worldstart's Tech Tips And Computer Help - http://www.worldstart.com -

MS Excel: The F6 Key – Worksheet, Ribbon, Zoom, Worksheet, Ribbon, Zoom

Here’s a little trick for those of you who are dedicated to minimizing the amount of time you use with the mouse when working in Excel.

Today we’re looking at the F6 key and the tricks it has up its sleeve.

In Excel the F6 key rotates between 3 areas of your window… the worksheet itself, the Ribbon and the Zoom controls in the bottom right corner of the status bar.

Like you couldn’t have guessed that from the title… moving on…

Using the F6 key between these items is a fast way to gain control of that area to then use the keyboard to accomplish the task you need done.

It’s obvious that rotating to the worksheet will let you continue to work but let’s look at the other two.

First let’s examine what you get when you use the F6 key to activate the Ribbon.


Yep, that Ribbon definitely looks different from what we usually see. It’s the little numbers and letters above all the commands.

Once the Ribbon is activated like this you can simply use the Alt key with whatever number/letter is listed to access first the tab of the ribbon or a command from the Quick Access Toolbar. Then you’ll use the keys again to use a command from a tab.

You’ll find that instead of plastering all the letters at once Excel will change them as you navigate down towards the command you need making it a much easier to use feature.

When we use the F6 key to navigate to the Zoom controls you’ll be sent to this areas of your status bar.


Here you use the arrow keys to navigate to the part of the controls you need and the use Enter to select it.

This means that you can change the View of the worksheet (the 3 icons to the left of the slider) or arrow over to the + and buttons to increase or decrease the zoom by 10% each time you hit the Enter key.

That’s really all there is to it… the F6 key can be used to access virtually anything you may need to use.