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Getting Started with Bloomberg: Basics

The Bloomberg Terminal

A typical Bloomberg Professional terminal will have two monitors and a unique keyboard.

The dual monitors are helpful as they allow Bloomberg users to view multiple diplays simultaneously.  Upon logging in, 4 individual panels or windows will open. Similar to the dual monitors, multiple panels allow users to multi-task, by viewing or comparing up to 4 different sets of data simultaneously. The active panel will show a blue flashing cursor. You can switch between panels using the <PANEL> key or by clicking on the panel that you wish to work on. 

In addition to the monitors and panels,  Bloomberg Professional will also have a unique keyboard. This keyboard is developed to make using the menu-driven navigation in Bloomberg Professional easier. For more on the keyboard, keep reading. 

The Bloomberg Keyboard

The Bloomberg keyboard is color-coded to provide users with quick access to data and functions. 

Yellow Keys - Market Sector Keys        

Green Keys  - Action Keys        

Red Keys - Cancel & Log Off Keys

Keys to know:

Esc/Cancel - Think of it like a normal Escape key. Striking it will stop whatever you are doing.

Enter/GO - Think of it like a normal Enter key. You will use this after every command that you enter.

Print - Press Print once to print the current page or enter number of pages you wish to print & Print (ex. 5 Print)

Menu - Press Menu to navigate from any function back to a menu of related functions (and ultimately back to the main menu).

End/BackWill take you back to the key previous screen. 

Help - Press Help key once to display help function and a description of the current function that you are using. Press help two times to email the Bloomberg  24 hour help desk. 


For more assistance with the Bloomberg Keyboard, download the Getting Started Guide or complete the Bloomberg Essentials Training. 

Basic Searching

esThe Bloomberg platform offers flexibility for searching, featuring two frequently used options: 

1. Browsing Menus

Bloomberg functions are organized by menus that are classified by market sector or product type. Each menu is part of a hierarchy. 

You can access menus using the Menu button on the screen, the Menu Key, or using a Yellow Market Sector Key.  This method is recommended for new users - It gives users a sense of the data and information available in Bloomberg and sees what functions are available.

2. Using Function Codes 

An alternative to using the menus is to search by function code. By entering codes directly into the command bar, users can eliminate the steps. This guide offers lists of frequently used codes. 

There are two types of function codes: Security Specific, for analyzing loaded securities, and Non-Security Specific, for locating information on a sector or news & events. 

To load a security, enter the ticker or identifier, hit the Market Sector key representing the asset type, and then click on the Enter/GO key.  


Not sure where to start? 

The auto-complete feature helps you find the security or function that you are searching for. 

  • Begin typing a term in the command line at the top of the panel that you are working in. 
  • As you type, a list of suggested functions & securities will be displayed. 

Full Search using Help

  • Type a term in the command line at the top of the panel that you are working in.  
  • Use the <SEARCH> key.
  • Select the search result from the list.


Launchpad is a powerful feature that gives users the ability to combine & consolidate the Bloomberg content that you use most. Monitor data, group components, customize function panels, and share ideas with other Bloomberg users with this unique tool. 

For more information on Launchpad, download the guide from Bloomberg or watch the tutorial that is part of Bloomberg Essentials Training. 

Frequently Used Functions & Shortcuts

Getting Started with Bloomberg:
MAIN:   Main menu
BLP:   Bloomberg Launchpad
SITE:  Overview of system (select heading for functions)

CHEAT:  Directory of Bloomberg Cheatsheets 

EASY:  Tips and Shortcuts

BU:  Bloomberg University


Download & Export

Two ways to export Bloomberg data into Excel 

  1. Use the Excel Plug-in. Open up Excel first, click on Bloomberg, then import data. A new screen will open where you can enter your data selections.
  2. Export from Bloomberg into Excel. This exporting capability is limited to certain data elements within Bloomberg. When available, this function will be listed under Options Please note: Not all data can be exported

Copying and pasting tables from Bloomberg to Excel

  1. Place cursor at the corner of table in Bloomberg.
  2. Click and drag the data you would like to copy.  Bloomberg will copy text/data automatically without Ctrl + C.
  3. In Excel, press Ctrl + V to paste the data.
  4. Click on Data menu from the top in the Excel screen and select "Text to Columns..."
  5. Select "Fixed width-general."


To save a screen go to Export, click on Grab Screen. Not all screens can be saved.  You can also type GRAB <GO>