Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Making Noncontiguous Selections
Selecting Cells
Making Noncontiguous Selections
In some cases, you may want to select cells that are noncontiguous (also known as
nonadjacent), which means they don’t form a neat rectangle. For example, you might
want to select columns A and C, but not column B. Or you might want to select a
handful of cells scattered throughout the worksheet.
The trick to noncontiguous cell selection is using the Ctrl key. All you need to do
is select the cells you want while holding down Ctrl. You can select individual cells
by Ctrl-clicking them, or you can select multiple blocks of cells on different parts of
the sheet by clicking and dragging in several different places while holding down
Ctrl. You can also combine the Ctrl key with any of the shortcuts discussed earlier to
select entire columns or rows as a part of your selection. Excel highlights in blue the
cells you select (except for the last cell selected, which, as shown in Figure 15-4, isn’t
highlighted because it becomes the active cell).
Figure 15-4:
This figure shows a
noncontiguous selection
that includes four cells
(A1, B2, C3, and B4).
The last selected cell
(B4) isn’t highlighted
because it’s the active
cell. This behavior is a
little bit different from a
continuous selection, in
which the first selected
cell is always the active
cell. With a
noncontiguous selection, the last
selected cell becomes
the active cell. Either
way, the active cell is still
a part of the selection.
Automatically Selecting Your Data
Excel provides a nifty shortcut that can help you select a series of cells without
dragging or Shift-clicking anything. It’s called AutoSelect, and its special power is to select
all the data values in a given row or column until it encounters an empty cell.
To use AutoSelect, follow these steps:
1. Movetothefirstcellthatyouwanttoselect.
Before continuing, decide which direction you want to extend the selection.
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