# When to use Ctrl+Shift+Enter and when to use Enter in Excel?

I don't understand when I should use Ctrl+Shift+Enter and when to just use Enter in Excel.

Can someone help me understand the difference between them and how they should be used?

• What do you think the difference between the two is? – Der Hochstapler Nov 11 '13 at 20:29
• Hmmm... @DerHochstapler Thanks for that helpful comment! – FreeSoftwareServers Nov 20 '19 at 4:15
• @FreeSoftwareServers You're welcome – Der Hochstapler Nov 20 '19 at 9:22

For single cell formulas

There's no completely consistent rule.

In general when you use ranges in formulas or functions that normally only apply to single cells then you need CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.....so if you use

`=IF(A1=3,1,0)`

that's a straightforward formula which can be normally entered......but if you change it to

`=SUM(IF(A1:A10=3,1,0))`

.....then you now need CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER

....but some functions can process ranges or arrays without CSE, e.g. `SUMPRODUCT` and `LOOKUP`......and some functions always need CSE, e.g. `TRANSPOSE`

...and to confuse you further, typically if you use an "array constant" in place of an array, e.g.

`=SUM(IF({1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}=3,1,0))`

...that doesn't need CSE.......and there are ways to make CSE formulas into non-CSE, e.g., this needs CSE

`=INDEX(B2:B10,MATCH(1,(A2:A10="x")*(C2:C10="y"),0))`

but this avoids CSE to do the same thing with an extra INDEX function

`=INDEX(B2:B10,MATCH(1,INDEX((A2:A10="x")*(C2:C10="y"),0),0))`

for multi-cell formulas

these are formulas that return an "array" of values, e.g. this formula returns as "array" of 21 values

`=FREQUENCY(A1:A100,B1:B20)`

so you can select a range of 21 cells to display all those values - such formulas need to be confirmed with CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER after the entry range has been selected

• Also, (Ctrl)+(Enter) lets you enter the same simple (single-cell) formula in multiple cells (all the selected cells) simultaneously. – Scott Nov 12 '13 at 1:28
• Simple... Right! – FreeSoftwareServers Nov 20 '19 at 4:16