Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing a Select Group of Cells
AutoSelect keyboard style
For the keyboard equivalent of AutoSelect with the mouse (see the “Selecting
the cells in a table of data, courtesy of AutoSelect” section), you combine
the use of the F8 key (Extend key) or the Shift key with the Ctrl+arrow keys
or End+arrow keys to zip the cell cursor from one end of a block to the other
and merrily select all the cells in that path.
To select an entire table of data with a keyboard version of AutoSelect, follow
these steps:
1. Position the cell cursor in the first cell.
That’s the cell in the upper-left corner of the table.
2. Press F8 (or hold the Shift key) and then press Ctrl+ to extend the
cell selection to the cells in the columns on the right.
3. Then press Ctrl+ to extend the selection to the cells in the rows
The directions in the preceding steps are somewhat arbitrary — you can just
as well press Ctrl+↓ before you press Ctrl+→. Just be sure (if you’re using the
Shift key instead of F8) that you don’t let up on the Shift key until after you
finish performing these two directional maneuvers. Also, if you press F8 to get
the program into Extend mode, don’t forget to press this key again to get out
of Extend mode after the table cells are all selected, or you’ll end up selecting
cells that you don’t want included when you next move the cell cursor.
Nonadjacent cell selections with the keyboard
Selecting more than one cell range is a little more complicated with the
keyboard than it is with the mouse. When using the keyboard, you alternate
between anchoring the cell cursor and moving it to select the cell range and
unanchoring the cell cursor and repositioning it at the beginning of the next
range. To unanchor the cell cursor so that you can move it into position for
selecting another range, press Shift+F8. This puts you in Add to Selection
mode, in which you can move to the first cell of the next range without
selecting any more cells. Excel lets you know that the cell cursor is unanchored by
displaying the Add to Selection indicator on the left side of the Status bar.
To select more than one cell range by using the keyboard, follow these
general steps:
1. Move the cell cursor to the first cell of the first cell range that you
want to select.
2. Press F8 to get into Extend Selection mode.
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