Written By Rick de Groot

Rick is the founder of BI Gorilla. He believes learning is one of life's greatest pleasures and shares his knowledge to help you improve your skills.

Keyboard Shortcuts

This guide will teach how to use keyboard shortcuts in Power Query. We’ll delve into navigating your data, editing code, and working efficiently with the ribbon using keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts do more than make tasks quicker; they can actually make your work more enjoyable. Learning and using these shortcuts in Power Query can save you a considerable amount of time, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your data projects.

So, are you ready to complete tasks more quickly, add a little fun to your workflow, and improve your Power Query skills? Let’s get started.

Table of contents

Keyboard Shortcuts

So what are the best Power Query keyboard shortcuts? We will look at each category of shortcuts separately.

Data Navigation Shortcuts

Going through your dataset is a common task whether you’re inspecting individual cells or applying transformations. The below keyboard shortcuts help you in selecting the relevant cells, rows and columns.

Keyboard ShortcutsActions
Ctrl + HomeSelect the upper left cell within a table.
Ctrl + EndSelect the bottom right cell within a table.
HomeSelect the first cell of the current row.
EndSelect the last cell of the current row.
Alt + HomeSelect the first cell of the current column.
Alt + EndSelect the last cell of the current column.
Page UpMove selection up one page from current selection.
Page DownMove selection down one page from current selection.
Arrow KeysMove selection to adjacent cell.
Ctrl + GOpens ‘Go to Column’ menu and jumps to searched column.
Ctrl + ASelect All Columns and Rows.
Ctrl + SpaceSelect Current Column.

For those who like to dive deeper, there are advanced navigation shortcuts that offer more precise control:

Keyboard ShortcutsAction
1. Go to 1st column (press Home)
2. Press (opens preview pane)
Inspect Row Values as List
1. Press Ctrl + Space (select column)
2. Hold Shift + / (expand selection)
Select Adjacent Columns
1. Press Ctrl + Space (select column)
2. Hold Ctrl + / (highlight column)
3. Press Space (select highlighted column)
Select Non Adjacent Columns
Select Column then press F2Rename Column
Alt + Open Filter menu
Ctrl + Open Change Column Type Menu

Queries Pane Shortcuts

When working with your queries, you may find yourself in need of selecting, copying or pasting queries. You can easily perform those actions with these Power Query hotkeys:

Keyboard ShortcutsActions
Ctrl + ASelect all queries.
Ctrl + CCopies selected queries.
Ctrl + VPastes selected queries.
Ctrl + -> Press EnterSelects multiple queries.

Applied Steps Shortcuts

The applied steps pane is where Power Query stores its transformation logic. Here you can create, delete or modify steps, using the following keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard ShortcutsActions
Ctrl + EAdds a column from examples.
DelRemove selected Column(s).
Select Step + F2Renames the selected step.
Alt + BackspaceCopies code of last selected step into formula bar.
Also works when coming from other query

Ribbon Navigation Shortcuts

The Power Query Ribbon contains all its UI transformations. You can reach each of the Ribbon tabs and transformation buttons by using keyboard shortcuts. The below keyboard shortcuts open the different tabs.

Keyboard ShortcutsActions
Alt + FOpen File menu
Alt + HOpen Home Tab
Alt + TOpen Transform Tab
Alt + AOpen Add Column Tab
Alt + WOpen View Tab
Alt + Z1Open Tools Tab
Alt + E1Open Help Tab

After reaching one of these tabs, you can continue navigating to the relevant transformation. There are too many options to list here, but Power Query will visually indicate the keyboard shortcuts to reach each of them.

General Utility Shortcuts

Some Power Query shortcuts are universally applicable, whether you’re saving your work or adjusting font sizes.

Keyboard ShortcutsActions
Alt + F4Closes the Power Query Editor
F12Save file as
Ctrl + SSave file
Ctrl + Shift + +Increase font size
Ctrl + Shift + Decrease font size
Ctrl + 0Restore font size (use regular 0, not on numpad)
Menu KeyOpens right-click menu, behavior depends on context

Quick Access Toolbar Shortcuts

Did you know Power Query has a Quick Access Toolbar? You can add your favourite actions to it so you can easily access them. This may just save you a few clicks compared to the Shortcuts to reach the ribbon (as in the previous step).

To add a new action to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), right-click an operation in the ribbon and then select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Let’s say you have 3 actions in your QAT. To access the first one, you can press ALT + 1. For the second, you press ALT + 2 and ALT + 3 for the third.

Some of my favourite actions, mentioned in my preferred order, are:

  1. Advanced Editor
  2. Add Custom Column
  3. Unpivot Columns
  4. Add Index Column
  5. Query Dependencies
  6. Start Diagnostics and Stop Diagnostics

Advanced Editor Shortcuts

Besides everything mentioned above, there are quite some shortcuts available for the advanced editor. Because the quantity is substantial, you can find this post on 38 keyboard shortcuts for the advanced editor.

Conclusion

Mastering Power Query keyboard shortcuts can dramatically improve your efficiency and workflow. Whether you’re navigating through data, managing queries, or applying transformation steps, these shortcuts are your best friends. Try incorporating these into your routine, and experience a whole new level of Power Query proficiency.

So, go ahead and try out these keyboard shortcuts and experience the difference it makes in your workflow. Enjoy Power Query!

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