Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for the Menu Key (Right-click Context Menu) - Convert Text to Numbers - Ignore Errors - Excel Campus
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Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for the Menu Key (Right-click Context Menu) – Convert Text to Numbers – Ignore Errors

This post will explain keyboard shortcuts to access the Error Checking, Paste Options, and Quick Analysis menus using the Menu Key on the keyboard.  You will learn keyboard shortcuts for converting text to numbers, ignoring errors, pasting values, and more..

Menu Key

Windows Context Menu Key Keyboard

Do you ever use the Menu Key?  It is typically located on the right side of the keyboard between the Alt and Ctrl keys.  It’s also referred to as the Context Key, Application Key, or Right-click Key.

The Menu Key can be used in combination with the Alt key for some useful keyboard shortcuts in Excel.  If your keyboard does NOT have a Menu Key, Shift+F10 will work as an alternative.

I have an article on the best keyboards for Excel that lists keyboards and laptops that still have a dedicated menu key.

Video

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Cell Pop-up Warnings in Excel

There are three different warning/option boxes that will pop-up next to a selected cell.

Cell Pop-up Warnings Excel

  • Error Box – This box is displayed when a possible error is detected in a cell by Excel.  You will see a small green triangle in the top left corner of the cell.
  • Paste Options – This box appears after cell(s) have been pasted in the worksheet, and displays various paste special options (paste values, formatting, formulas, etc.).
  • Quick Analysis Box – This feature is new in Excel 2013 and allows you to quickly apply some analysis on the selected range of cells (conditional formatting, charts, totals, etc.).

Menu Key Shortcuts

All of these pop-up menus can be accessed with the keyboard shortcut:

Alt+Menu Key (Alt+Shift+F10 if your keyboard does not have a Menu Key.)

When any of the pop-up warning boxes appear, you can press the Alt+Menu Key to open the pop-up window and view the options.

Alt Menu Key Shortcut to Open Excel Error Box

Menu Key + Letter

Error Box

The menu options on the error box can be selected by pressing the underlined letter in the option name.  For example, when a number is stored as text the error box will appear next to the selected cell.  In the error box menu the keyboard shortcut to Convert to Numbers cut is the letter “C”.  The full keyboard shortcut for Convert to Numbers is
Alt+Menu Key+C
_Keyboard Shortcut Convert Text to Numbers Excel_
The keyboard shortcut to Ignore Errors is Alt+Menu Key+I.  That is a quick way to remove the in-cell error warnings (small green triangles at top-left corner) in the selected range of cells.

Keyboard Shortcut to Ignore Errors Excel
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Paste Options

The Paste Options menu will appear to the right of a range after a paste is performed.

Paste Options Pop-up Comparison Excel 2007 2010 2013

Click to Enlarge


If you are using Excel 2007 then you can access the Paste Options menu using the Alt+Menu Key shortcut.  The options can be selected by pressing the underlined letter in the option name.

Starting in Excel 2010 this menu can be accessed with the Ctrl key. When the menu appears with all the paste options, you can press the letter in parenthesis next to the option name to select the command.  So Ctrl then V is the shortcut to Paste Values after you have pasted the cells.  That means you can press Ctrl+V twice to paste values (once to paste, then the second time will paste values).  The caveat to this is that you have to press and release the Ctrl key the second time, then press V.  

So the full keyboard shortcut to paste values is Ctrl+V, Ctrl, V.

The shortcut to paste formulas is Ctrl+V, Ctrl, F.

I prefer to use Paste Buddy for my most common paste commands (values, formatting, formulas).  Paste Buddy is an Excel add-in that allows you to create custom keyboard shortcut for any of the paste special commands.

Quick Analysis

The Quick Analysis menu has a dedicated keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Q.  You can also use the Alt+Menu Key shortcut to access the menu.  Once the menu is open you can use the keyboard arrows and tab key to move through the menus and select the options.  Then press Enter or Space Bar to make your selection.  I don’t believe you can use any letters on the keyboard to select the options in the Quick Analysis box.Quick Analysis Menu Excel 2013

Additional Shortcuts

When you press the Menu Key (without Alt), the right click menu appears and you can press any of the underlined letters in the menu to perform the action.  Here are some of the most useful shortcuts.

  • Menu Key + M – Insert Comment
  • Menu Key + A – Define Name
  • Menu Key + I  – Insert cell/row/column
  • Menu Key + D – Delete cell/row/column

Menu Key Right Click Options Menu

Summary

The Menu Key can be used for a variety of useful keyboard shortcuts in Excel.  It is a fast way to access the error checking box for converting to numbers or ignoring errors.  If you are using Excel 2010 or later then you may not need it for the paste options shortcuts, but it is nice to know that any pop-up box can quickly be accessed with the Alt+Menu Key combination.

Checkout my article on the best keyboards for Excel to learn more about other features to look for in a keyboard.

Please leave a comment with any questions, and let us know if there are other shortcuts that you find useful.

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Jon Acampora
 

Welcome to Excel Campus! I am excited you are here. My name is Jon and my goal is to help you learn Excel to save time with your job and advance in your career. I've been an avid Excel user and VBA developer for 10+ years. I am also a Microsoft MVP. I try to learn something new everyday, and want to share this knowledge with you to help you improve your skills. When I'm not looking at spreadsheets, I get outdoors and surf. :) more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 15 comments
Peter Taggart - June 1, 2017

Keyboard short cuts are awesome and speed things up. The ones you have shared with us take a little time to memorize but what a difference when you use them on a regular basis.

Thanks, Peter

Reply
Dev - November 16, 2016

I want to shortcut key regarding pivot table convert in normal form and we have not to change in format.

Reply
Leo - September 9, 2016

Jon, when selecting cells with errors both the Quick Analysis and Error Checking boxes are “available”. I want the Alt+Menu key to open the Error Checking Box – not the Quick Analysis, but keep getting it the other way around. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance

Reply
    Jon Acampora - September 12, 2016

    Hi Leo, Great question! I’m not exactly sure what causes the order that those menus appear in. Sometimes the error menu comes up, other times the quick analysis appears. If the quick analysis appears first, you can press Alt+Menu again to see the error checking box. This means you have to press the keyboard shortcut twice.

    Another option is to turn the quick analysis off if you don’t use it. You can do this from the Excel Options menu on the General tab. Here is a screenshot.

    Turn Quick Analysis Off in Excel Options Menu

    I hope that helps. Let me know if you find any other solutions. Thanks!

    Reply
surendra - June 19, 2016

please help for VLOOKUP,

i try but not geeting result

Reply
Mark - April 4, 2016

Hi Jon

I’m currently running Excel 2007.

I am having problems with my short cut menu operation. On most occasions I need to right click several times before the short cut menu will stay up. It appears every time I right click, but disappears immediately, before eventually staying on the screen.

I have been unable to resolve it. Any idea please?

Thanks

Mark

Taree NSW
Australia

Reply
    Jon Acampora - April 8, 2016

    Hi Mark,
    I have not heard of that one before. Is it happening in other applications besides Excel? If so, it is probably a Windows issue. If it is only Excel, do you have any other add-ins or macro enabled workbooks open? Those could potentially be causing the issue.

    Reply
Jonathan - December 10, 2015

You can also double tap ‘Ctrl’ to bring up the menu options. The one thing I can’t figure out is how to cycle between menus in the rare instances when both the error and quick analysis boxes pop up.

Reply
kasusx - January 25, 2014

thanx very helpful

Reply
Bob Umlas - January 22, 2014

I don’t use it because my job is still using 2007 — we’re upgrading to 2013 in May, but we create dictator apps and will need to turn this feature off anyway! (Application.QuickAnalysis = False)

Reply
Bob Umlas - January 22, 2014

In the Quick Analysis, you can access the options with the right/left arrows

Reply
    Jon Acampora - January 22, 2014

    Thanks Bob! Just out of curiosity, do you use the Quick Analysis often? If so, what are your favorite features?

    Reply
    John Atamanczyk - April 24, 2017

    Nice post, Jon! I linked over to this one from a newer one, and found it to be very informative.

    As Bob mentioned, the arrow keys may be used, but initially this is only to cycle through the different tabs on the menu.

    Additionally, once you have selected the tab that has the option you want to use, you can click the Tab key to get down to the options and use the arrow keys once again to cycle through the options on that tab.

    On the Totals tab, where not all of the options are displayed, the arrow keys will continue to scroll forward/back to/from those options as well.

    You can also click the Tab key again to get back up to cycling through the tabs, meaning the Tab key toggles between the tabs and the options.

    Reply

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