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Excel Mouse Double-Click Tips

These mouse double-click tricks will help you save time and work more efficiently in Microsoft Excel. Use these mouse shortcuts for quick formatting, naming, resizing, and more time-savers.

Adjust column widt

Quick Data Entry - AutoFill

When you're working in Microsoft Excel, the active cell has a Fill Handle -- a small black square at its bottom right corner. When you point to the Fill Handle, the pointer changes to a small black plus sign.

You can drag the Fill Handle, or double-click it, to activate the AutoFill feature.

fill handle and pointer

With AutoFill, you can quickly make a list of dates, months, numbers, or custom items, with very little typing.

Watch this short video, to see how AutoFill creates a date series. There are written instructions, and more examples, on the Excel AutoFill Examples page.

Format Painter

After you format one part of a worksheet, you can click on the Format Painter, then click on another location, to apply the same formatting.

If you have multiple locations where you want the same formatting:

  • Select the cells whose formatting you want to copy
  • Double-click on the Format Painter button, to "lock" it.
  • Then, click on another location, where you want to apply the same formatting.
  • Continue clicking on different locations, until all the formatting has been applied

When you're finished:

  • Press the Esc key on your keyboard


  • Click the Format Painter again, to "unlock" it.

Double-click Format Painter

Quick Formula Audit

If you want to quickly audit a cell's formula, you can use the following mouse shortcut to go to the cells that the formula refers to (precedent cells)

  • Double-click on a cell that has a formula with cell references
  • In the selected cell, cell references on the active sheet are colour coded
  • On the active sheet, referenced cells will have the same colour coding
    • Cell references from different sheets are not affected

Excel Ribbon

The Excel Ribbon uses a a bit of room at the top of the Excel window, and if you need extra space, you can temporarily hide the Ribbon commands.

To hide the Ribbon commands:

  • Double-click on the active tab of the Ribbon
  • Only the Ribbon tabs will be visible.

Point to the Fill Handle

To use the commands when they are hidden:

  • Click on any tab, to see its commands
  • Click on the command that you want to use
  • NOTE: The commands will temporarily cover the formula bar and part of the worksheet

To unhide the Ribbon commands again:

  • Double-click on any tab on the Ribbon (but not the File button).

Show Ribbon commands again

AutoFit Rows and Columns

To quickly adjust the row height or column width, use a double-click shortcut.

To autofit the row height for the tallest entry in each row

  • Select one or more rows
  • In the Row buttons at the left side of the sheet, point to the line at the bottom of one of the selected rows
  • Double-click to adjust the height of all the selected rows.

To autofit the column width for the widest entry in each column

  • Select one or more columns
  • In the column buttons at the top of the sheet, point to the line at the right side of one of the selected columns
  • Double-click to adjust the width of all the selected columns.

Adjust column widt

Change Sheet Names

Name your worksheets, so it's easy to find what you need in each workbook. Don't leave the default names that Excel creates, such as Sheet1, Sheets, etc.

To rename a sheet:

  • Double-click the sheet tab
  • Type a new name for the sheet (up to 31 characters).
  • Press the Enter key, to complete the name change

Rename a worksheet

To quickly navigate through a worksheet, use a double-click shortcut.

  • Select a cell in the row or column where you want to navigate
  • Double-click on one of the cell' borders -- top, bottom, left or right

Double-click for navigation

Excel will select a cell in that row or column, moving in the direction that you clicked.

It stops at the cell just before the first empty cell. For example, in the screen shot below, Excel stopped at cell J7, because cell J8 is empty.

  • Tip: If you want to get to the bottom of a list, use this double-click trick in a column where you know there aren't any blank cells.

Double-click for navigation

Close Workbook

To close an Excel workbook, use the following double-click mouse shortcut, nstead of using the X at the top right of the Excel window .

This saves time if your mouse pointer is closer to the left side of the workbook, and you're working with a wide workbook window.

To quickly close a workbook:

  • Point to the top left corner of the workbook's window, just above the File tab..
    • NOTE: In Excel 2013 and earlier, there is an Excel logo in that corner. In Excel 2016, there is just a blank space.
  • Double-click in that corner, to close the workbook.
    • NOTE: If there are any unsaved changes in the workbook, Excel will prompt you to save.

Point to the top left corner

Change Size of Excel Window

Instead of dragging the workbook window's borders, to resize it, use a double-click shortcut to quickly change its size.

  • To maximize a normal-sized window, double-click in an empty part of the window's Title Bar.
  • To restore a maximized window to its previous size, double-click the Title Bar again.

Double-click the Title Bar

Show Pivot Table Details

If you're troubleshooting a pivot table, use this shortcut to see all the data that is summarized in one of its values.

  • Double-click any number in the pivot table Values section, to create a new sheet with all of the related data for that value.
  • To see all of the data, remove any filters on the pivot table, then double-click the Grand Total

Pivot Table Grand Total

Format Excel Charts

After you create a chart in Excel, you might want to change its appearance, for example, make the columns a different colour, or change the axis label font size.

To quickly format part of a chart, follow these steps:

  • Double-click on the chart element you want to format
  • Excel will open a formatting pane on the right side of the window.
    • The formatting pane shows the options use can change for the selected chart element.

NOTE: After the Formatting Pane has been opened, you can single-click on a chart element, to see its formatting options in the pane.

Format chart elements

More Tutorials

Fill Blank Cells

Convert Text to Numbers

Increase Numbers With Paste Special

Date Picker



Last updated: June 17, 2023 10:01 AM