Start Excel Fast: Shortcut vs Taskbar (Windows & Mac)

Written by Kasper Langmann

Starting Microsoft Excel quickly and efficiently is a crucial skill for anyone who frequently uses this powerful spreadsheet software. Whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac, there are several methods to launch Excel, including using shortcuts and the taskbar or dock. This guide will delve into the nuances of these methods, providing a comprehensive comparison to help you choose the most suitable approach for your needs.

Launching Excel from the Taskbar (Windows) and Dock (Mac)

The taskbar in Windows and the dock in Mac are convenient places to access your most frequently used applications, including Excel. They provide a simple, one-click solution to launch your applications. However, the process of adding Excel to these locations differs slightly between Windows and Mac.

On a Windows PC, you can pin Excel to the taskbar for easy access. To do this, search for Excel in the Start menu, right-click on the Excel icon, and select ‘Pin to taskbar’. Once pinned, you can launch Excel with a single click on the icon in the taskbar. This method is straightforward and efficient, making it a popular choice among Windows users.

On a Mac, you can add Excel to the dock for quick access. Open Excel from the Applications folder, then right-click on the Excel icon in the dock and select ‘Options’ > ‘Keep in Dock’. This will keep the Excel icon in the dock even after you close the application, allowing you to launch Excel with a single click. This method is equally simple and efficient, making it a favorite among Mac users.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Launch Excel

Keyboard shortcuts provide an even faster way to launch Excel, eliminating the need to navigate through menus or icons. However, the specific shortcut depends on your operating system.

On a Windows PC, you can create a shortcut for Excel and assign a keyboard shortcut to it. To do this, right-click on the desktop, select ‘New’ > ‘Shortcut’, and browse for the Excel application. Once the shortcut is created, right-click on it, select ‘Properties’, and enter your preferred key combination in the ‘Shortcut key’ field. This method is slightly more complex than using the taskbar, but it can be faster once you get used to it.

On a Mac, you can use Spotlight to launch Excel with a keyboard shortcut. Press Command + Space to open Spotlight, then type ‘Excel’ and press Enter. This method is incredibly fast and efficient, making it a popular choice among power users. However, it does require you to remember the specific key combination, which can be a drawback for some users.

Comparing the Two Methods

Both the taskbar/dock method and the keyboard shortcut method have their pros and cons. The best method for you depends on your personal preferences and work habits.

The taskbar/dock method is simple and straightforward, making it suitable for users who prefer using the mouse and like having visual reminders of their applications. However, it does require you to keep the taskbar or dock visible, which can take up screen space.

The keyboard shortcut method is faster and more efficient, making it ideal for power users who prefer using the keyboard and like to work quickly. However, it does require you to remember the specific key combinations, which can be challenging for some users.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all method to launch Excel. It’s important to experiment with different methods and choose the one that best fits your needs. Whether you prefer using the taskbar or dock, or the speed of keyboard shortcuts, the goal is to start Excel fast and get to work on your spreadsheets as quickly as possible.