Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Ranges: A Select Tool
Figure 2–13. An entire column selected
Yes—all one-million-plus cells in the K column are now selected (hope you weren’t expecting a
foldout showing them all). And you can select a row by clicking one of the numbered row headers on the
side of the screen. And by clicking the column/row header area and dragging across or down that area,
you can select multiple columns or rows.
And if you opt for keyboard cell-selection approaches, first select that upper-left cell, using any
navigational means you wish. Then hold down the Shift key, keep it down, and press any of the keyboard
arrow keys in the direction of the cells you wish to select. For example, you can first press the Right and
then the Down arrows, thus enabling you to describe a range of as many columns and rows as you wish.
Just remember to keep the Shift key down throughout the process. When you’re done, release the Shift
key and observe your range, decked out in blue. (Just keep in mind for the record that you could start
your range selection by clicking what is the upperright cell of the desired range, and dragging left and
down and/or up. It’s just that most people—at least those who speak and write English—tend to think
left to right.)
But I’ve been holding out on you. There’s yet another way to designate a range, and that alternative
takes us back once again to the name box, along with an important data entry principle. If, for example I
type this:
D13:H23
in the name box and then press Enter, cells D13 through H23 will be selected, turning that tell-tale blue
(with the exception of D13, which serves as the “first”, upper-left cell in the range and so remains white).
Note the expression—D13:H23. It means that all the cells from D13—the upper-left cell in the range—
through H23—the lower-right cell in the range—have been designated for the range selection; and this
upper-left/lower-right-cell nomenclature for range boundaries is indispensable to Excel formulas. Thus,
by way of preview, if you see an expression that looks something like this:
=SUM(A34:C57)
 
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