Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Making Selections with the Keyboard
Selecting Cells
2. HolddownShift.Now,double-clickwhicheveredgeoftheactivecellcorre-
spondstothedirectionyouwanttoAutoSelect.
For example, if you want to select the cells below the active cell, then
doubleclick its bottom edge. (You’ll know you’re in the right place when the mouse
pointer changes to a four-way arrow.)
3. Excelcompletesyourselectionautomatically.
AutoSelection selects every cell in the direction you choose until it reaches the
first blank cell. The blank cell (and any cells beyond it) won’t be selected.
Making Selections with the Keyboard
The mouse can be an intuitive way to navigate around a worksheet and select cells.
It can also be a tremendous time-suck, especially for nimble-fingered typists who’ve
grown fond of the keyboard shortcuts that let them speed through actions in other
programs. Fortunately, Excel is ready to let you use the keyboard to select cells in a
worksheet. Just follow these steps:
1. Startbymovingtothefirstcellyouwanttoselect.
Whichever cell you begin on becomes the anchor point from which your
selected area grows. Think of this cell as the corner of a rectangle you’re about to draw.
2. Now,holddownShiftandmovetotherightor left(toselectcolumns)and
downorup(toselectmorerows),usingthearrowkeys.
As you move, the selection grows. Instead of holding down Shift, you can also
just press F8 once, which turns on extend mode. When extend mode is on,
you’ll see the text Extend Selection in the status bar. As you move, Excel selects
cells just as though you were holding down Shift. You can turn off extend mode
by pressing F8 once you’ve finished marking your range.
Tip: If you really want to perform some selection magic, you can throw in one of Excel’s powerful
keyboard shortcuts. Use Ctrl+Space to select an entire column or Shift+Space to select the entire row.
Or use the remarkable Ctrl+Shift+Space, which selects a block that includes the current cell and all the
nearby contiguous cells (stopping only at the edges where it finds a blank cell). Finally, you can hit
Ctrl+Shift+Space twice in a row to select the entire worksheet.
Making a noncontiguous selection is almost as easy. The trick is you need to switch
between extend mode and another mode called add mode. Just follow these steps:
1. Movetothefirstcellyouwanttoselect.
You can add cells to a noncontiguous range one at a time or add multiple
continuous ranges. Either way, you start with the first cell you want to select.
2. PressF8.
This key turns on extend mode. You’ll see the text Extend Selection appear in
the status bar to let you know extend mode is turned on.
 
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