While answering Keyboard shortcut to delete a word at a time in a cell, I found that a shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + Backspace is working for me to delete one word left to cursor position.

However, when I tested this shortcut on another system with the same version of MS Office installed, this shortcut didn’t work. Also, I didn’t find any documentation from Microsoft about this shortcut.

To identify what is causing this shortcut to work, I reset all customizations, deactivated all add-ins and closed AutoHotKey. But this shortcut is still working.

What else can be done to identify what is causing this shortcut to work.

Here are version/build details of MS Office installed on my system..

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List of processes running on system when I tested shortcut.

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  • So, the plot thickens! This is indeed puzzling. Did you try restarting windows after all your changes?
    – robinCTS
    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:30
  • @robinCTS Restarted after your comment. Shortcut is still working.
    – Sandeep
    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:57
  • Any other software installed that could possibly be doing this?
    – robinCTS
    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:58
  • @robinCTS I closed/killed all software and kept MS Excel and Process Explorer (sysinternals) running. I can still use shortcut. I have also added an image of all processes running while I tested it.
    – Sandeep
    Jun 29, 2018 at 10:20
  • Assuming that you are talking about the text cursor and not the cell cursor, does anything happen when you press the same key combination while not editing cell contents?
    – PFitz
    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


Today I took a system, formatted it and installed Win 10 Enterprise. First software I installed was MS Office 365 (latest version downloaded with web installer). And it turned out the Ctrl + Shift + BackSpace is still deleting whole word at left side of cursor.

Though I didn't find any documentation to support this; but it seems that this feature is added in MS Excel. I am using MS Office 365 Pro Plus 32-bit (Version 1810).


My Solution is based on Excel version 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016. I've never tried Office 365.

The question seeks to answer why a keyboard shortcut works on one system but not another. There are a lot of potential conflicts with shortcuts, and the cause can be difficult to root out. This can be treated as an exercise to determine the cause. But if the objective is a working shortcut, another solution is to just try a different shortcut that may be less susceptible to conflict.

I never came across Ctrl+Shift+Backspace to delete the word to the left of the cursor in an Excel cell. But I can suggest another shortcut. A reliable way to do it (just one extra keystroke):

  • Select the word with Ctrl+Shift+Left (repeated use selects multiple words).
  • Then use Delete or Backspace to remove the whole selection.
  • Just write your concern to down vote this !! Oct 25, 2018 at 7:52
  • @fixer1234,, thanks for useful edits,, it enhances the scope of the answer ☺ Oct 28, 2018 at 5:41

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