Some people just hate taking their hands off of the keyboard to use the mouse. It slows you down! If you use the Windows desktop version of QuickBooks there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently and navigate the program without using the mouse. Some of the shortcuts even help you reach features that can be hard to find! Here’s my list of keyboard shortcuts – let me know if you have any to add to the list.
In many cases the shortcut is a combination of keys. You’ll hold one key down (like you would the “shift” key to get an uppercase letter) and then press another key (or two). In the tables below I’ll show both keys separated by a dash. For instance, Ctrl-N would mean hold the Ctrl key down and then press the letter N.
This article was updated on 9/17/2012
Editing QuickBooks Transactions and Lists
When you are working with a transaction such as an invoice or bill, you can manipulate the transaction itself, and the detail lines, in several ways. If you are working on a list (item list, customer list, etc.) some of the same keys will work. Note that there are occasional transactions where some of these keys won’t apply:
|Ctrl-Del||Delete the selected line in a transaction|
|Ctrl-Ins||Insert a blank detail line in a transaction|
|Ctrl-N||Create a new transaction or list item|
|Ctrl-D||Delete the current transaction or list item. Please note that you cannot reverse this once done, usually|
|Ctrl-E||Edit an item in an item list, or in a register|
|Ctrl-O||If you are looking at a check in the write checks window, or in the check register, use ctrl-O to copy the check. You can then use ctrl-V to create (paste) a copy of that check if you are in the check register|
If you have a transaction or list window open, look at the Edit menu, it will show you the shortcuts that are available for the window you are working with.
Opening QuickBooks Windows and Lists
From any point in QuickBooks you can quickly open a variety of windows and lists with just a keystroke.
|Ctrl-W||Opens the write check window to write a new check|
|Ctrl-Q||Open a Quick Report for a list item when you have selected the item in the list|
|Ctrl-Y||Open a transaction journal for a transaction, if you are viewing the transaction|
|Ctrl-J||Open the customer center|
|Ctrl-A||Open the Chart of Accounts|
|Ctrl-I||Open the create invoice window to create a new invoice|
|Ctrl-L||Open a list – if the cursor is in a field that has a dropdown list, such as selecting the item in an invoice detail line, this will open the list associated with that dropdown|
|Ctrl-U||Use the list item if you have just used ctrl-L to open the list from a transaction. This is a very useful feature that many people aren’t familiar with. See a more detailed explanation in my article on Improved List Selection|
|Ctrl-R||Most transactions have a register associated with them. This opens the register for the transaction you are looking at|
|Ctrl-G||This is an odd one I’m still figuring out. If you are in a register for an account, entering ctrl-G will take you to the register for the “transfer” account associated with the line you have selected|
|Ctrl-F||Opens the find window for the list or transaction type you are working with. This is the old-style Find, not the new Search feature (F3)|
|F1||Opens the Help window|
|F2||Displays the Product Information window, which has a large amount of information that can be very helpful when diagnosing problems in QuickBooks (Ctrl-1 is an alternate)|
|F3||Starting with the 2011 version, this opens the newer Search feature (as opposed to the Find feature)|
|F3||If you have the Product Information window open (by pressing F2), pressing F3 here will open the tech help window. This provides a wide range of system and diagnostic information, as well as being a quick way to view (and possibly edit, if you are careful) a number of support and technical files that relate to QuickBooks operations (Ctrl-2 is an alternate)|
|F4||This opens the QuickBooks Technical Support Helper window|
|Ctrl-1||This does the same as F2, opening the Product Information window|
|Esc||Close the current window|
|Ctrl-F4||Close the current window (same as Esc)|
|Ctrl-F6||Move to the next open window and make it active. NOTE that for some reason SOME windows don’t allow this, such as the Accountant Center (thank you Mary Longacre for pointing that out)|
|Ctrl-Tab||Same as Ctrl-F6, moves to the next open window|
|Ctrl-H||Open the Transaction history – if you have a transaction like an invoice, which has payments applied to it, the transaction history can be very useful|
|+||(plus key) Increase a number in a form, such as a check number or invoice number|
|-||(minus key) Decrease a number in a form, such as a check number or invoice number|
|Alt-S||Save the current transaction|
|Alt-N||Save the current transaction and go to the next|
|Tab||Go to the next field|
|Shift-Tab||Go to the prior field|
|Up Arrow||Go to the previous line in a form|
|Down Arrow||Go to the next line in a form|
|Page Up||Move to a previous page in a form area or report|
|Page Down||Move to the next page in a form area or report|
|Ctrl-Page Up||Move to the first item in a list or register|
|Ctrl-Page Down||Move to the last item in a list or register|
|Enter||If you are viewing a report this will “quick zoom” – open a register or detailed report. In other windows this will often select the highlighted button/operation|
|Ctrl-Enter||Record (save) the current record. If you have several buttons at the bottom of a transaction window (like “Save & Close”, “Save & New”, “Clear” and so forth) then Ctrl-Enter will select the best “save” option available. Enter will select the button that is highlighted, which might not be the best “save” option|
If you have selected a menu and you see a letter underlined in one of the menu options, OR if you are in a window and you see a letter underlined in one of the buttons, hold the Alt key down and press that letter to invoke that option.
When you open QuickBooks the program will usually try to open the last company you worked with, and possibly open all of the windows that you had open when you last exited (this can be controlled by your desktop preferences). Sometimes, when you are having problems with a QuickBooks company file, you want to change how it starts. If you hold down one of these keys when you click on your QuickBooks shortcut, it changes how QuickBooks starts.
|Ctrl||Start QuickBooks without opening a file. This is useful if you are having problems with the last company file you were using – and you want to start with the Open or Restore Company window|
|Alt||Start QuickBooks without all the windows. If you have your desktop set to remember what windows you have open, sometimes it takes a VERY long time to start QuickBooks. This option will start it without opening all the windows|
QuickBooks Date Shortcuts
When the cursor is on a date field you can do more than just type in a date or select the date by calendar – you can select some of the special date values with just a few keys.
|+||(plus key) Advance to the next day|
|-||(minus key) Previous day|
|W||First day of the Week|
|K||Last day of the weeK|
|M||First day of the Month|
|H||Last day of the montH|
|Y||First day of the Year|
|R||Last day of the yearR|
|[||(left bracket) Same day in previous week|
|]||(right bracket) Same day in next week|
|;||Same date last month|
|‘||(apostrophe) Same date next month|
|Alt-down arrow||Opens the calendar for date selection (the small date calendar, not the “Calendar” feature)|
You can memorize common transactions so that you can easily reproduce them later. Think of this as creating a template that you can make copies from.
|Ctrl-M||Memorize the current transaction. This opens the memorize transaction window|
|Ctrl-T||Create a new transaction from a memorized transaction. This opens the memorized transaction list|
|Ctrl-R-P||If you have been trying to register QuickBooks, and you have been given a “validation code”, you can easily get to the registration window where it asks you for this code without having to go through all the normal steps for registration. Open QuickBooks, select Help and then About QuickBooks. When the product splash screen shows, press Ctrl-R-P (hold the Ctrl key down then press R and P in succession). This opens the window that lets you enter your validation code|
Standard Text Editing
These are the standard text editing keys we all know and love (at least, you should all know these by now) for most Windows programs. I’ll repeat them here for completeness. These work while you are in a data field – note that some of these keys have a different (but similar) effect if you are not clicked on a data field, but have selected a transaction window.
|Ctrl-Z||Undo typing or changes made in field|
|Ctrl-X||Cut (copy the selected text to the clipboard and remove it from the field).|
|Ctrl-C||Copy the selected text to the clipboard|
|Ctrl-V||Paste text from the clipboard to the field|
|Del||Delete a character to the right|
|Backspace||Delete a character to the left|
|Home||Go to the first character in the field|
|End||Go to the last character in the field|
|Ctrl-Right Arrow||Move to the next word in a current text field|
|Ctrl-Left Arrow||Move to the previous word in a current text field|
Others Added Later
- Added 9/17/2012: Select “Help” from the QuickBooks menu, then select the About QuickBooks option that you should see at the bottom of that menu. This opens the “splash screen”that shows your license and other info. At this point, pres Ctrl-Alt-Y and you will get a window that lets you “enter year-to-date amounts for payroll”. These are summaries of employee paychecks and associated company liabilities for the current calendar year. You would use this in a situation where you are starting payroll in QuickBooks in the middle of the year, so that your W-2 and payroll reports (etc) are accurate.
There may be others that I’m not aware of – or some that work differently in specific windows. If you find any, let me know!
About the Author (Author Profile)Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He's been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had a one-floppy disk drive system, loading the program from one floppy and then replacing that with the other floppy to hold the data. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. He also is a Xero Certified Partner. Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. Charlie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog and a regular blog contributor to the Intuit Inner Circle. Connect with Charlie at Google
Sites That Link to this Post
- QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts — Emperor Accounting, LLC | July 20, 2012