Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Moving Data and
Selecting Cells
kind of rectangle), as shown in Figure 15-1. The easiest way to select a continuous
range is to click the top-left cell you want to select. Then drag to the right (to select
more columns) or down (to select more rows). As you go, Excel highlights the
selected cells in blue. Once you’ve highlighted all the cells you want, release the mouse
button. Now you can perform an action, like copying the cells’ contents, formatting
the cells, or pasting new values into the selected cells.
Figure 15-1:
Top: The three selected cells (A1, B1, and C1) cover the
column titles.
Bottom: This selection covers the nine cells that make up the
rest of the worksheet. Notice that Excel doesn’t highlight the
first cell you select. In fact, Excel knows you’ve selected it (as
you can see by the thick black border that surrounds it), but
it has a white background to indicate that it’s the active cell.
When you start typing, Excel inserts your text in this cell.
In the simple expense worksheet, for example, you could first select the cells in the
top row and then apply bold formatting to make the column titles stand out. (Once
you’ve selected the top three cells, press Ctrl+B, or chose Home Font Bold.)
Note: When you select some cells and then press an arrow key or click into another cell before you
perform any action, Excel clears your selection.
You have a few useful shortcuts for making continuous range selections (some of
these are illustrated in Figure 15-2):
• Instead of clicking and dragging to select a range, you can use a two-step
technique. First, click the top-left cell. Then hold down Shift and click the cell at the
bottom-right corner of the area you want to select. Excel highlights all the cells
in between automatically. This technique works even if both cells aren’t visible
at the same time; just scroll to the second cell using the scroll bars, and make
sure you don’t click any other cell on your way there.
• If you want to select an entire column, click the header at the top of the column
(as shown in Figure 15-2). For example, if you want to select the second column,
then click the gray “B” box above the column. Excel selects all the cells in this
column, right down to row 1,048,576.
• If you want to select an entire row, click the numbered row header on the left
edge of the row. For example, you can select the second row by clicking the gray
“2” box to the left of the row. All the columns in this row will be selected.
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