Keyboard shortcuts not working


Well-known Member
Sep 26, 2011
Good morning, - as a Lotus 123 veteran (!) I still use a lot of keyboard shortcuts within Excel such as Alt+f (File) followed by c to close the active workbook.
Whilst these work most of the time, sometimes they don't and the above sequence will result in a "c" appearing in the active cell, and I have to use the X button to close the workbook instead.
Another is Alt-o c w to adjust a column width /row height that leaves me with a w.
Whilst not a massive inconvenience, I'm curious to identifiy the circumstances or settings that might make this happen. Can anyone help?
Thanks in advance

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Andrew Fergus

MrExcel MVP
Sep 9, 2004
I still use occasional Alt+? shortcuts and sometimes see the same issue (especially Alt-D-F-F to turn on autofilters). I see this most often on wireless keyboards where the keystrokes are too fast and/or it is not recognising the Alt key press (but then I also sometimes see it on the laptop keyboard). I wonder if there is some other process trying to interpret the keystroke which is preventing it from happening as intended. I also see the same if I am using an Alt shortcut where I haven't used one in a while, whereas subsequent attempts always work. I find that if you slow it down by half a second and confirm the shortcut keys have appeared on the Excel menu before pressing the next key, then I have fewer issues with the few legacy shortcuts that I use.

I recommend learning the native shortcuts. For example to close the active workbook press Ctrl+W (new workbook is Ctrl+N, print is Ctrl+P, open is Ctrl+O, save is Ctrl+S etc.). I know that doesn't help for your favourite keystroke shortcuts and it is "hard to teach an old dog new tricks" but once you get the hang of the new shortcuts, I reckon you will find some of them will be easier. FYI here is a resource on shortcuts (which also has alt shortcuts!):
Last edited:


New Member
Aug 4, 2014
I have noticed the same thing, but if you type them slowly, like a second between ALT and the next key in the sequence it will work, super frustrating!

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