If you are entering a lot of information into an accounting program like QuickBooks, you want to be able to keep your hands on the keyboard. Moving back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse just slows you down. That is why we have “keyboard shortcuts” in good Windows based programs – to minimize the time you waste with the mouse.
Information about the keyboard shortcuts in QuickBooks is available in many places, but I’m always surprised by how many people who just don’t know about them. So today I’ll review what we have available. Please note that this is a Windows-centric view of the QuickBooks world.
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|
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-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-J||Open the customer center|
|ctrl-A||Open the Chart of Accounts|
|ctrl-I||Open the create invoice window to create a new invoice|
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-H||Transaction history – if you have a transaction like an invoice, which has payments applied to it, the transaction history can be very useful.|
|ctrl-R||Most transactions have a register associated with them. This opens the register for the transaction you are looking at.|
|ctrl-F||Opens the find window for the list or transaction type you are working with.|
|+||(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|
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.
|ctrl-Z||Undo typing or changes made in field.|
|Del||Delete a character to the right|
|Backspace||Delete a character to the left|
When you open QuickBooks the program will usually try to open the last company you worked with, and 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|
|Alt-down arrow||Opens the calendar|
Note: See the article on improved list selection for more examples of shortcuts