Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope

Alternatively known as Control 3 and C-3, Ctrl+3 is a shortcut key most often used to switch to the third tab in a browser or another program with tab support.

How to use the Ctrl+3 shortcut key

To use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+3, press and hold either Ctrl key on the keyboard and while continuing to hold, press the "3" key with either hand.


The "3" used with this shortcut is the "3" at the top of the keyboard and not on the numeric keypad.

Ctrl+3 in Microsoft Excel

In Microsoft Excel and all other spreadsheet programs, pressing Ctrl+3 italicizes or removes italic from text in a cell.


You can also use the Ctrl+I shortcut to italicize text in Excel.

Using Ctrl+3 in an Internet browser

With all major Internet browsers (e.g., Chrome, Edge, Firefox), pressing Ctrl+3 switches to the third tab.


If you only have two tabs open, pressing Ctrl+3 does nothing.

Below are links to related keyboard key and keyboard shortcut pages.

A, Ctrl, Keyboard terms, Select all, Shortcut key