Excel Navigation and Selection Techniques

Ok, let’s start with the basics.  By using some simple navigation and selection techniques available in Excel, you can move around a spreadsheet with greater ease and get work completed more efficiently.

Navigation Techniques

  • Tab  -  Moves you one cell to the right
  • Shift+Tab  -  Moves you one cell to the left
  • Home  -  Takes you to Column A of the current row
  • Page Up/Page Down  -  Contrary to the names, Page Up and Page Down actually take you up/down one screen at a time.
  • Alt+Page Up  -  Moves you one screen to the left
  • Alt+Page Down  -  Moves you one screen to the right
  • Control+End  -  Takes you to the last row, last column in a range of data
  • Control+Home  -  Takes you to beginning of a spreadsheet
  • The Name Box  -  The Name Box, found to the left of the Formula Bar, is a great way to navigate in larger spreadsheets.  Name a range of data and the next time you want to go there, simply select the named range from the name box.  You can also use named ranges in formulas to streamline workflow.

Did you know?

The default in Excel is to move to the next cell down in a column when you press the enter key.  If you are working in a large, horizontal spreadsheet and wish to move to the right, you can change the default through the Excel Options, Advanced Tab (under editing options).  Just remember that you will have to change the default back once you are finished with that spreadsheet.

Selection Techniques

  • Single Click  -  Select a single cell
  • Double Click  -  Select the contents of a cell.  You may also select the contents of a cell in the formula bar.
  • Shift+Click  -  Selects a contiguous (adjacent) range of cells.  Place your cursor at the first insertion point, then hold down the shift key and keep it held down, click at the last insertion point and then let go of the shift key.  This is a great way to select large ranges of data that are adjacent to each other without having to drag your mouse through them to make a selection.
  • Control+Click  -  Selects a non-contiguous (non-adjacent) range of cells.  Select your first cell, hold the control key down and keep it held down and click to select the rest of the cells.  Then let go of the control key.  This is a great way to select numerous cells at one time and can really speed things up when formatting in Excel.  Simply select all your cells at one time and make the formatting change only once.
  • Control+A  -  Select an entire worksheet.
  • Shift+Control+Home  -  Selects an entire range of data above and to the left of the active cell (great for quickly selecting a print area or deleting content).
  • Shift+Control+End  -  Selects an entire range of data below and to the right of the active cell (great for quickly selecting a print area or deleting content).
  • The Name Box – You can select ranges of data in Excel by typing the range within the Name Box.  As an example, type A1:A20 in the Name Box and Excel will select the range A1:A20 for you.

 

This entry was posted in: MS Excel Tips.
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