The Shortcut Manager dialog, accessible from the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard menu, is used to manage shortcut keystroke settings.

The shortcuts list can be sorted by action name, utility, or keystroke. The utility of a shortcut reflects its expected frequency of use and its estimated time savings benefit. The higher the utility, the more important the shortcut is to learn.

The Shortcut Manager resides in a pane at the edge of the Excel application window, making it easy to learn Macabacus' shortcuts while you work.

Edit Shortcuts

You may want to customize your Macabacus shortcut keystrokes to mimic another add-in or deconflict hotkey assignments where multiple add-ins have one or more shortcut keystrokes in common. Shortcut assignments for other add-ins cannot be editing using the Shortcut Manager.

To edit a shortcut keystroke, select the shortcut from the list and either (a) key the new keystroke or (b) use the controls at the bottom of the Shortcut Manager to assign and save the new keystroke. When using the controls to edit shortcuts, you must click the save button to retain each of your changes.

To remove a shortcut (delete its keystroke assignment), simply uncheck it. Even after removing a shortcut, you can still access its underlying functionality from the Macabacus tab.

Reset Shortcuts

Click the Reset All or Reset button to restore all or specifically selected shortcut keystrokes to their default Macabacus settings. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to continue before resetting all keystrokes.

Clear Shortcuts

By default, Macabacus will assign its shortcut keystrokes upon opening Excel (assuming no conflicts with other add-ins). However, if you do not want Macabacus' shortcut keystrokes to be set upon opening Excel, click the Clear All button to uncheck and disable all shortcuts listed in the Shortcut Manager. You can then selectively recheck only those shortcuts that you wish to use.


If you have other Excel add-ins installed, their hotkey assignments (shortcut keystrokes) may conflict with Macabacus. Shortcut assignments are given priority based on the order in which add-ins are loaded when starting Excel, and the load order for add-ins is unpredictable. Therefore, it may be necessary to override other installed shortcuts after starting Excel to ensure that all Macabacus shortcuts work. Note that you can also deconflict hotkey assignments using the Shortcut Manager, avoiding the need to override altogether. To override all other shortcut keystroke settings, click the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard > Override button.

Click the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard > Print button to open a new workbook containing a list of all Macabacus shortcut keystrokes that can be printed for convenient reference. You can reformat the list or sort shortcuts by name, keystroke, or utility before printing.

Troubleshooting Shortcuts

If you are experiencing problems with Macabacus' keyboard shortcuts, perform the following steps to resolve the issue:

Shortcut conflicts

Shortcut conflicts between Excel add-ins are normal and easy to resolve. These conflicts typically arise upon starting Excel, when one add-in sets shortcut keystrokes upon loading that another add-in overrides when it subsequently loads. Add-ins are loaded in whatever order Excel decides, and reinstalling add-ins or installing add-in updates may change the load order, causing sudden shortcut problems. If you have other add-ins (e.g., CapIQ, FactSet, Bloomberg) installed, their default shortcut keystrokes will almost certainly conflict with Macabacus' default keystrokes, and you should proceed directly to step #8.

  1. Click the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard > Override button to override any shortcut conflicts with other add-ins. This solves most shortcut problems for the current Excel session, only. If you find yourself using the Override button often, take the time to properly deconflict shortcut keystrokes per step #8.

    Override is ineffective against other add-ins that surreptitiously override shortcuts at periodic intervals. Only CapIQ is believed to engage in this practice—the software equivalent to bullying.

  2. Click the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard > Shortcut Manager button. Confirm that the shortcut keystrokes you are attempting to use are indeed assigned to their intended operations.
  3. Confirm whether all Macabacus shortcuts are affected, or just a few. Try some formatting-related shortcuts as well as some non-formatting-related shortcuts.
  4. Open a blank workbook and try the failing shortcuts there.
  5. If some formatting-related shortcuts fail to work properly in the original workbook, but work correctly in a blank workbook, the problem could be that your original workbook contains too many number formats or styles. If so, try cleaning up your workbook using Macabacus' workbook optimization tools at Macabacus > File > Optimize.
  6. Do the buttons on the Macabacus tab in the ribbon that correspond to the failing shortcuts also fail to produce the expected result? If so, then the problem is broader in scope than shortcuts.
  7. In the Shortcut Manager, click the Reset All button to return all shortcuts to their default settings and attempt to use the shortcuts again. You may wish to back up your Macabacus settings first.
  8. Disable all other add-ins by unchecking them in the COM Add-Ins and Excel Add-Ins dialogs. Restart Excel (quit all running instances) and confirm that the other add-ins remain disabled. Click the Override button again for good measure. If Macabacus shortcuts are working as expected now, you have a shortcut conflict with another add-in. Enable your other add-ins as desired and resolve the conflict by changing shortcut keystrokes in Macabacus' Shortcut Manager or in the equivalent utility of the conflicting add-in.
  9. Ensure that no other installed software is setting Windows-level shortcuts that conflict with Macabacus' shortcuts. For example, we have observed that an Intel graphics application hijacks Ctrl+Alt+[Arrow] shortcuts.
  10. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request and include in your email the outcome of each step above.

Accelerator Key

Accelerator keys activate tabs in the Ribbon when pressed after the Alt key. The default keystrokes to activate the Macabacus tab using the keyboard are Alt>B, where the B key is the accelerator key. You can change the accelerator key—perhaps to avoid conflicts with another add-in—in the General > Ribbon section of Macabacus' Settings dialog. Note that Microsoft reserves most accelerator keys for native functions, limiting customization options. If you use Macabacus in multiple Office applications, you will likely want to select the same accelerator key in all applicable Office applications.

Access keys vs. keyboard shortcuts

Access keys (e.g., Alt>B>T) are not technically keyboard shortcuts (e.g., Ctrl+Shift+4). The former are based on the user interface, so they may change without warning due to Office or Macabacus updates and other factors, and Microsoft provides very limited ability to customize them. Shortcuts, on the other hand, are highly customizable and their keystrokes will never change. In Excel, always work with true shortcuts instead of access keys where possible. PowerPoint does not support shortcuts, unfortunately, so you must use access keys in that application.

Troubleshooting Accelerator Keys

When another add-in (e.g., Bloomberg) or native Office feature uses the same accelerator key for its tab, Office applications ignore your accelerator key setting and assign a keystroke like Y1 or Y2 to the Macabacus tab instead. The only remedy is to change Macabacus' accelerator key as described above, or the conflicting add-in's accelerator key (if possible).

Disabled Keys

Advanced modelers often physically remove certain keys from their keyboards. These "nuisance" keys serve little or no purpose in most Windows applications, and accidentally hitting them can slow down Excel or result in unexpected behavior. How many times have you hit the F1 key, pulling up Excel's Help dialog when aiming for F2?

Macabacus offers a less destructive solution to these nuisance keys, letting users disable the F1, Insert, Num Lock, and/or Scroll Lock keys, without requiring their physical removal. Go to the Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard menu to selectively disable/enable these keys. Note that on some computers, Macabacus may be unable to disable some keys.

This documentation refers to the latest Macabacus version. Some features and descriptions of these features may not apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.

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