In Office in Windows, if you tap "Alt", letters appear all over the ribbon that illuminate how to navigate through it, switching tabs and hitting buttons to do anything that's on there.

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How can I do that in Office 2016 for Mac?

Related question about Office 2011, has anything changed?

3 Answers 3


As of Office 2016, Microsoft has not implemented the Alt-shortcuts for the ribbon. However, there are several dozen other shortcuts that can be used on the Mac.

You didn't ask for any specific shortcut so I won't list any here. Also, there are so many that it would be impracticle to list them out. I know we try to avoid 'link-only' answers but in this case there's no way around it. Here are a few very comprehensive lists of all the Office shortcuts for Mac, including where you can use the excellent Accessibility features on the Mac:


There is still no ribbon alt-shortcuts for Office for Mac, but there some alternative keyboard shortcuts:

  1. cmd+opt+R show/hide the ribbon

  2. ctrl+F2 to open the system menu. Then use letter shortcuts to jump to menus and commands.

  3. F6 will put focus on the ribbon. Unfortunately, you can't use letter shortcuts. Instead, you can use tab/shift+tab to navigate the ribbon. You can hold down tab to go faster. Then space to select the command. (This is not a very practical method, but it's possible.)


I recently built a Mac app that enables these alt-shortcuts in Mac Excel. You can download it at https://www.acceleratorkeys.com.

Edit: Noted that the original answer was a little short. I was trying to avoid being overly promotional. If you download the app, you'll find that Excel alt-key shortcuts work exactly as they do on Windows. It works on macOS Catalina, and across Office 2016, 2019 and 365.

  1. Open Accelerator Keys.
  2. Open Excel.
  3. Hit Alt and use the shortcuts.

We're being used by consultants, investment bankers, financial analysts, accountants etc. I built this using Catalina's new accessibility features to control Excel and re-create the alt-key shortcuts on Mac.

  • Welcome to Ask Different. Thank you for self disclosing your product. This might be even better with a picture showing nick T how they might get or know which keys work in the current Excel for mac version using your tool. No edit is required, but the answer is a little short in addressing the specific concern of this question IMO.
    – bmike
    Aug 8, 2020 at 11:05
  • Nice, but not at 36$/year (half the price of MS365 subscription!)
    – Nickolay
    Jan 10 at 19:38

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