Quickly Repeat an Action in Excel

After you do something in Excel, you may be able to repeat the action by pressing the F4 key.
For example, after you format a cell with bold font, select another cell and press F4. That cell is also formatted with bold font, and it’s much quicker than moving the mouse to click on the Bold button in the toolbar.
You can also use the Ctrl+Y shortcut to repeat an action, or click on the Edit menu, and click the Repeat command, as shown below.

Grab the Excel Color Palettes

While working on an Excel 2003 worksheet, you might want to colour a few of the cells, change the font colour for the text, or add borders to a range of cells.
To add colour, you select a cell, click on the dropdown arrow at the right side of the colour button on the toolbar, and click on a colour.

That’s simple enough, but all those trips up and down from the toolbar can get a bit tiring, and take extra time.
To Save Time, Move the Palettes
If you have lots of formatting to do, it will be easier if the palettes are closer to the area where you’re working. You can detach the palettes from the toolbar, and move them onto the worksheet.
Note: This feature is not available in Excel 2007, or later versions.
To move one of the “tear away” palettes (Font Color, Fill Color, or Borders):

  1. On the toolbar, click the dropdown arrow, to open the palette.
  2. At the top of the palette, point to the thin grey bar.
  3. When your pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the palette down onto the worksheet.


When you’ve finished working with the palette, click the X at its top right, to close it.

And here’s a short video, if you’d like to see the steps performed on screen: