Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing a Select Group of Cells
Although the preceding steps may lead you to believe that you have to select
the first cell of the table when you use AutoSelect, you can actually select any
of the cells in the four corners of the table. Then, when expanding the cell
selection in the table with the Shift key depressed, you can choose whatever
direction you like to either select the first or last row of the table or the first or
last column. (Choose left, by clicking the left edge; right, by clicking the right
edge; up, by clicking the top edge; or down, by clicking the bottom edge.)
After expanding the cell selection to include either the first or last row or first
or last column, you need to click whichever edge of that current cell selection
that will expand it to include all the remaining table rows or columns.
Keyboard cell selections
If you’re not keen on using the mouse, you can use the keyboard to select the
cells you want. Sticking with the Shift+click method of selecting cells, the
easiest way to select cells with the keyboard is to combine the Shift key with other
keystrokes that move the cell cursor. (I list these keystrokes in Chapter 1.)
Start by positioning the cell cursor in the first cell of the selection and then
holding the Shift key while you press the appropriate cell-pointer movement
keys. When you hold the Shift key while you press direction keys — such as
the arrow keys (↑, →, ↓, ←), PgUp, or PgDn — Excel anchors the selection on
the current cell, moves the cell cursor, and highlights cells as it goes.
When making a cell selection this way, you can continue to alter the size and
shape of the cell range with the cell-pointer movement keys as long as you
don’t release the Shift key. After you release the Shift key, pressing any of the
cell-pointer movement keys immediately collapses the selection, reducing it to
just the cell with the cell cursor.
Extend that cell selection
If holding the Shift key while you move the cell cursor is too tiring, you can
place Excel in Extend mode by pressing (and promptly releasing) F8 before
you press any cell-pointer movement key. Excel displays the Extend Selection
indicator on the left side of the Status bar — when you see this indicator, the
program will select all the cells that you move the cell cursor through (just as
though you were holding down the Shift key).
After you highlight all the cells you want in the cell range, press F8 again (or
Esc) to turn off Extend mode. The Extend Selection indicator disappears from
the status bar, and then you can once again move the cell cursor with the
keyboard without highlighting everything in your path. In fact, when you first
move the pointer, all previously selected cells are deselected.