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

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 5, 2021

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)

Do you want to learn more about Excel? Check out our virtual classroom or live classroom Excel courses >

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. Press Ctrl + A again to select the entire sheet.

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.

Subscribe to get more articles like this one

Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list.

More resources

10 Great Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Filtering Data

How to Use Flash Fill in Excel (4 Ways with Shortcuts)

How to Insert Multiple Rows in Excel (4 Fast Ways with Shortcuts)

10 Great Excel Navigation Shortcuts to Move Around in Your Worksheets

10 Excel Flash Fill Examples (Extract, Combine, Clean and Format Data with Flash Fill)

Related training

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Excel: Data Analysis with Functions, Dashboards and What-If Analysis Tools

Microsoft Excel: Introduction to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications)

Microsoft Excel: Introduction to PowerPivot and PowerQuery Business Intelligence Tools

VIEW MORE COURSES >

Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some in-person classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca if you'd like to arrange custom instructor-led virtual classroom or onsite training on a date that's convenient for you.

Copyright 2022 Avantix® Learning

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

How to Lock Cells in Excel (Protect Formulas and Data)

How to Lock Cells in Excel (Protect Formulas and Data)

Easily Lock Cells in Excel by Protecting Worksheets by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 26, 2022 Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 or 365 (Windows) It's easy to lock cells in Excel to protect data or formulas. This is typically a two-step...

How to Stop or Control Green Error Checking Markers in Excel

How to Stop or Control Green Error Checking Markers in Excel

Turn Off or Customize Error Checking Options (and Markers) in Excel by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 26, 2022 Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 365 (Windows) In Microsoft Excel, errors are flagged by default with a small green marker...

How to Password Protect Your Excel Worksheets and Workbooks

How to Password Protect Your Excel Worksheets and Workbooks

Protect Worksheets and Workbooks in Excel by Avantix Learning Team | Updated June 10, 2022 Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 or 365 (Windows) You can password protect worksheets and workbooks in Excel. If you want to prevent other users from opening...

Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.

Avantix Learning |18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 | Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca

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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This