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In this lesson, we cover shortcuts you can use to group and outline data.


In this video, we'll look at shortcuts you can use to group, ungroup, and work with outlines.

In this worksheet, we have some basic data subtotaled by region and quarter.

The shortcut for grouping rows or columns in Excel is Alt + Shift+ Right arrow in Windows and Command Shift K on a Mac.

If you only have cells selected (not entire rows or columns) this shortcut will cause Excel to display the Group dialog box.

There, you can tell Excel to group either Rows or Columns.

You can speed things up by selecting entire rows or columns before you group.

With entire rows or columns selected, you can group in one step.

To ungroup, use the shortcut Alt Shift left arrow in Windows and Command Shift J on a Mac.

Again, if you only have cells selected, you'll get a dialog, and you'll need to choose whether you want to ungroup rows or columns.

But when you have entire rows or columns selected, you can ungroup in one step.

When you have well-structured data, with consistent formulas, you can ask Excel to build an outline automatically.

There is no dedicated shortcut for this, but in Windows, you can use the ribbon shortcut, Alt A, GA.

When you have an outline with multiple levels, you'll see small numbers for both rows and columns that you can use to the navigate outline structure. 

When you're working with an outline, you can temporarily hide outline symbols, but leave the outline intact, using the shortcut Control + 8. You can use this shortcut to toggle the outline symbols on and off, without affecting the outline. However, any hidden rows or columns will remain hidden.

When you have a collapsed outline selected, and copy, you'll get a copy of all the cells when you paste, both hidden and unhidden.

If you only want to copy visible cells, use the shortcut Alt ; on Windows and Command Shift Z on a Mac before you copy.

This shortcut selects visible cells only, so that you can copy and paste only the visible cells.

Finally, there is no shortcut for clearing an outline completely, but on Windows, you can use the Ribbon shortcut Alt A UC

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.