Use Shortcuts to Quickly Select Cells, Ranges, Columns and Rows in Microsoft Excel

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 31, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

Save time in Microsoft Excel with these useful selection shortcuts. You can use mouse and keyboard shortcuts to quickly select cells, ranges, columns and rows in Excel.

Recommended article: 10 Microsoft Excel Tricks to Extract or Clean Data with Flash Fill (10 Examples)

1. Select a range

To select a range of cells, click he first cell you want to select and Shift-click (at the same time) on the last cell you want to select.

You can also press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box, enter the range in the Reference box (such as A1:C29) and press Enter.

2. Select all

Click a blank cell on a sheet and press Ctrl + A, the entire sheet will be selected.

Click a cell within a range of cells with data and press Ctrl + A, Excel will select the data range.

3. Select a column

Select a cell in the column you wish to select and press Ctrl + spacebar.

4. Select a row

Select a cell in the row you wish to select and press Shift + spacebar.

5. Select cells up, down, left or right

Press Shift + an arrow key to select a cell in the direction of the arrow. Continue pressing Shift + an arrow key to select more cells.

6. Select data areas up, down, left or right

Press Ctrl + Shift + an arrow key to select by data area in the direction of the arrow. For example, if you select the first cell in a range and press Ctrl + Shift + right arrow, Excel will select to the last cell containing data on the right.

7. Select non-contiguous columns

To select columns that are not beside each other, select the column heading of first column and then Ctrl-click on the column heading of the non-adjacent column. Repeat for other columns.

You can also press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box, type the range in the Reference box using commas to separate each range (for example, enter A:A,C:C if you want to select columns A and C) and press Enter.

8. Select non-contiguous rows

To select rows that are not contiguous, select the row heading of the first row and then Ctrl-click on the row heading of the non-adjacent row. Repeat for other rows.

You can also press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box, type the range in the Reference box using commas to separate each range (for example, enter 1:1,5:5 if you want to select rows 1 and 5) and press Enter.

9. Select multiple contiguous columns

To select multiple columns that are beside each other, select the first column and Shift-click on the column heading of the last column you wish to select.

You can also press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box, type the range in the Reference box (enter B:H to select columns B to H) and press Enter.

10. Select multiple contiguous rows

To select multiple contiguous rows, select the first row and Shift-click on the row heading of the last row you wish to select.

You can also press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box, type the range in the Reference box (enter 5:8 to select columns 5 to 8) and press Enter.

Terminology

Contiguous = adjacent = next to each other Non-contiguous = non-adjacent = not next to each other

This article was originally published on September 17, 2014 and has been updated for clarity and content.

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Summary
10 Excel Selection Shortcuts to Save Time in Your Worksheets
Article Name
10 Excel Selection Shortcuts to Save Time in Your Worksheets
Description
Save time in Microsoft Excel with these useful selection shortcuts. You can use mouse and keyboard shortcuts to quickly select cells, ranges, columns and rows in Excel.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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