Microsoft Project Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet

Featured Microsoft Project Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft Project (MS Project) is a leading software used to organize any project based on tasks, timeline, resources, dependencies, collaboration tools, and interactive dashboards. If you are planning to create a project with methodical clarity on every minor point, this program is one of the best to have.

To navigate Microsoft Project better and to keep track of various project variables, it is important to get familiarized with useful keyboard shortcuts. We have prepared a cheatsheet for this purpose. Using these shortcut keys would not only save your time and effort but improve your access to many hidden features.

What Microsoft Project Is Used for?

Among the many uses of Microsoft Project, you can use its features to execute a wide variety of projects. These include sprint projects, waterfall projects, software development plans, budget sheets, market research schedule, annual reports, wedding planners, and even wine-tasting fundraisers.

Any full-fledged project is assembled using tools such as Gantt charts, network diagrams, resource sheets, task boards, team planners, apart from collaboration over email, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. All Microsoft Project data files are saved in .mpp format.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Project Login Page
Microsoft Project Homescreen

The above and following screens are for Microsoft Project’s Version 2105 which was released on May 27, 2021. Non-subscription versions of Project 2019, 2016, or 2013 are also available, and they are all backward-compatible.

It should be noted that unlike, say, Word or Excel, Microsoft Project doesn’t come as part of a regular Office 365 software suite. You need to either buy a subscription online or sign up for a Project 3 free trial. There are quite a few free alternatives to MS Project.

Examples of Microsoft Project Shortcut Keys

To operate Microsoft Project efficiently, you should familiarize yourself with commonly used shortcut keys. A full list of these shortcuts has been presented in the next section. But the ones below represent the examples which would make your navigation and browsing easy.

1. Using Keyboard to Work with Ribbon

Want to quickly do your tasks without clicking the mouse? The keys Shift + F10 help you execute every command using the keyboard on the ribbon itself. Press any letter in the key tip to prepare the option you want to use. Use the Tab key to move through the options. You may additionally press Alt to make the same selection, and select any option. Press it once again to dismiss the view.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Keyboard Ribbon
Shift + F10 – Operating Ribbon with keyboard

2. Managing Project Files with Ribbon Enabled

Continuing with the ribbon enabled, we opened a file using Alt + F. We could have simply opened it just using F. Now to open any Project file, use O or Alt + O. You can see other options for “print” p, “save” s, “share” z, and so forth.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Open File Keyboard
.Open Project File using “O” with Ribbon Enabled

3. Display Task/Resource/Assignment Information

While dealing with the entries in various cells, you would sometimes need to check what the information is all about. Shift + F2 is common combination for tasks, assignments, and resources which will open the pop-up box to give full details at a glance.

Microsoft Project Display Resource Information
Display Task/Resource Information with Shift + F2

4. Turn Auto-Calculate ON/OFF

In MS Project, you can switch between the cells default calculability state using a screen tip called Auto-calculate ON to OFF. The keys for doing this are very easy to use: Ctrl + F9 .

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Autocalculator
Auto-calculate Mode ON: Ctrl + F9

5. Activate the Auto-filter Dropdown Menu for Any Column

Imagine you have hundreds of rows for a column. If you had to sort all of them out manually, it would be quite tedious. For this reason, there’s a hidden secret feature where you can activate the auto-filter dropdown menu for any column of your choice. It’s done using Alt + Shift + F3.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Activate Dropdown
Dropdown for Column: Alt + Shift + F3

6. Scroll the Time-scale in Team Planner

Microsoft Project has a team planner mode where you can view the timelines of a project. Of course, it can be tiring to drag the mouse cursor continuously. A keyboard shortcut Alt + Left Arrow or Alt + Right Arrow helps in efficient scrolling. So even if your project drags for many weeks or months, you can have a nice horizontal scrolling view.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Scroll Timescale
Scroll timescale: Alt + L-R Arrow Keys

7. Overtype Mode

Do you want to type over any task? This mode can be turned on/off using the simple Insert key.

Microsoft Project Shortcuts Overtype
Overtype mode: INSERT key

List of Keyboard Shortcuts: Microsoft Project

After you practice the above examples as shown in previous section, you will understand how Microsoft Project functions. There are many other shortcut keys. Here we have provided them in the form of a cheatsheet explaining their main functions. While there are a few more which you’ll find in any MS Project window, this handy list will be enough to help you get started.

Short-cutFunction
Basics in Navigation
DeleteDelete one character to the right
Ctrl + DelDelete any word to your right.
EscCancel any entry.
EnterAccept any entry.
EnterMove around within a selection down the fields
Shift + EnterMove around within a selection up the fields
Shift + spacebarSelect any row
TabMove within a selection right one field
Ctrl + Shift + EndExtend the selection right until the end
Ctrl + Down arrow keyMove to the last row
Ctrl + Up arrow keyMove to the first row
Alt + HomeMove to the very beginning of a project
Alt + EndMove to the very end of a project (timescale)
Manipulation of cells
Shift + BackspaceReduce any field to just one field
Ctrl + Shift + F2Unlink various tasks
Ctrl + F2Link various tasks
Ctrl + Shift + SpacebarSelect all rows and columns
Ctrl + SSave the project
Ctrl + SpacebarSelect a column
Shift + SpacebarSelect a row
Viewing/Managing
Ctrl + Forward slash on the numeric keypadShow smaller time-scale units
F6Select any drawing object
Alt + Shift + hyphenHide subtasks
Ctrl + DeleteClear or reset the selected field
Ctrl + Minus signDelete row with a selected cell
Ctrl + DFill down
F5Go-to menu
Shift + Arrow keysAdd network diagram boxes to a given selection
Page UpMove up one window height
Page DownMove down one window height
Arrow keysNudge any shape up, down, left, or right
Shift + Right/left arrow keyIncrease/decrease a shape’s width by 10 percent
Shift + Up/down arrow keyIncrease/decrease a shape’s height by 10 percent
Ctrl + ASelect all text
Ctrl + ZUndo
Ctrl + YRedo

Microsoft Project is extensively used in simple as well as sophisticated projects. It has a universal template form which makes it worth sharing with others. Hygger.io is also a good project management suite which is worth consideration.

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Sayak Boral Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.