Fast Ways to Select Cell(s), Row(s), Column(s) or the Entire Worksheet and Get Around

AUTHOR:  JASON MORRELL 

Jason Morrell

In this post you'll discover how to select blocks of content instead of going cell by cell and some some fast ways to get around a worksheet.

1. Moving around a worksheet

  • Use the cursor keys to move one cell in any direction.
  • Use the Page Up and Down keys to move up or down one screen of data.
  • Use the scroll bars below and to the right of the worksheet to scroll through the worksheet.
  • Use the mouse wheel to scroll through the worksheet.
  • To go to cell A1, press Ctrl Home (Ctrl Home).
  • To go to the last active cell in the worksheet, press Ctrl End (Ctrl End).
  • To go to the last row (1,048,576), press Ctrl .
  • To go to the last column (XFD), press Ctrl →.

2. Navigating directly to a chosen cell

To go directly to a cell (only really useful in large spreadsheets)

1.  Press Ctrl G or press F5.

2.  Specify the worksheet name and cell reference (e.g. B2).

Navigating directly to a chosen cell

RELATED POST:

How to resize, insert or delete row(s) and column(s)

3. Selecting a cell

1.  Click in the cell.

2.  To select other non-adjacent cells at the same time, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the other cells.

4. Selecting a range of cells

  • Click in the first cell, hold the left mouse button, move to another cell and release the button. This is called Click and Drag, 
  • To select two ranges, select the first range, hold down the CTRL key and select the second range.
  • To extend the range, hold down SHIFT and use the cursor keys

5. Selecting row(s) or column(s)

  • Move the mouse pointer over the row or column label (shaded grey). The pointer will change to a down-arrow (for columns) or a right-arrow (for rows). Click the left mouse button. The selected row or column will be highlighted.
  • Alternatively, select any cell then press Ctrl + Spacebar to select a column or Shift _ Spacebar to select a row.
  • To select additional adjacent rows or columns, select the first column then while holding down the left mouse button, move to another row or column and release the button. All selected rows or columns will be highlighted.
  • To select non-adjacent rows or columns, hold down § and click each column or row label.
Selecting a row or column

6. Selecting the entire worksheet

To select every cell on the sheet:

1.  Click the grey block between the ‘A’ column label and the ‘1’ row label.

2.  Alternatively, press Ctrl A.

Selecting the entire worksheet

7. Key Takeaways

  • The following methods can be used to navigate a worksheet:
    Cursor (arrow) keys, page up and page down keys, scroll bar, mouse wheel and the Go To tool.
  • To go to cell A1, press Ctrl Home.
  • To go to the last active cell in the worksheet, press Ctrl End.
  • To select a range of cells, click in the middle of the first cell then with the mouse button still pressed, drag to the last cell in the range. The first cell you selected will be a lighter colour to indicate that it’s the active cell.
  • To select a whole column, click the column selector (the letter blocks at the top of the sheet).
  • To select a whole row, click the row selector (the number blocks on the left of the sheet).
  • To select the entire worksheet, press Ctrl A, or click the empty selector block between “A” and “1”.
  • To go directly to any cell on any worksheet, press Ctrl G or press F5 or click in the Name box, then type the cell reference and press Enter.

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell


Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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