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15 Keyboard Shortcuts For Selecting Cells And Ranges In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Using keyboard shortcuts can greatly improve selection efficiency in Excel by minimizing the time it takes to select cells manually. Some basic shortcuts for selecting cells include: selecting the active cell quickly, selecting multiple cells in a row, selecting multiple cells in a column, and selecting discontinuous cells in Excel.
  • Ranges of cells can also be selected using keyboard shortcuts. These include choosing a continuous range of cells, selecting rows of cells at once, selecting columns of cells quickly, and selecting non-continuous ranges of cells.
  • Several keyboard shortcuts can be used to select cells and ranges quickly, such as CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW keys, CTRL+A for selecting all cells at once, SHIFT+SPACEBAR, CTRL+SPACEBAR, CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR, and CTRL+SHIFT+F8 to select discontinuous cells. The F5 key can also be used for navigation and selection, with ALT+; to select visible cells only.
  • Time-saving tips for selecting cells and ranges in Excel include utilizing keyboard shortcuts to reduce time spent selecting cells, using the mouse to select ranges of cells, and knowing keyboard shortcuts to quickly select desired cells.

Are you overwhelmed by the number of Excel shortcuts you need to remember? You don’t have to! In this article, discover 15 keyboard shortcuts to simplify selecting cells and ranges in Excel.

Shortcut Techniques for Selecting Cells in Excel

I have been using Excel for years. But I still find myself taking too long to select the right cell or range of cells. If this is you, don’t worry! We are diving into Excel keyboard shortcuts. This can help your workflow and productivity.

We will cover four sub-sections. Each explains a different technique to select cells and ranges. We’ll understand how to select the active cell quickly. We will also learn how to select multiple cells in a row or column. Lastly, we’ll find out how to select discontinuous cells at once. Let’s begin!

Shortcut Techniques for Selecting Cells in Excel-15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Duncun

Selecting the Active Cell Quickly

Press F2 to bring up the active cell’s edit mode. This can be used to quickly select & alter its contents.

Ctrl + Backspace allows you to jump to the last non-empty adjacent cell on the left. This is helpful to move to a certain region of the spreadsheet quickly.

Ctrl + Home helps you go back to cell A1, and brings the active cell selection with it.

There are multiple other shortcuts for selecting the active cell quickly. Knowing these shortcuts helps in working with large data sets. It saves time and ensures accuracy. You can learn these shortcuts by using them regularly until they become muscle memory. This will make it easier to work on spreadsheets without thinking much.

Not learning these shortcuts may result in wasting time scrolling around spreadsheets manually. Therefore, investing time in learning efficient keyboard shortcuts can save hours every month.

Selecting multiple cells in a row has many benefits, both practically & visually.

Selecting Multiple Cells in a Row

Selecting cells in one row is common when dealing with Excel spreadsheets. Here are some tips for doing it quickly:

  • Click and drag the mouse to pick out cells in a consecutive range.
  • Tape the Ctrl key and click each cell you want to select for non-adjacent cells.
  • Click on the row’s number to pick out the entire row. You can also use the Shift key to take several rows at once.

Remember, you can only choose one row at a time. If you need to select several rows or columns, then make multiple selections. Be aware that picking out many cells can slow down performance. So, try to limit your selections as much as possible.

To speed up selection, use keyboard shortcuts. For instance, press Shift + Spacebar to select a complete row with your keyboard. To select all cells between two selected cells, press Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Key.

Pro Tip: If you often work with big spreadsheets, try using Excel’s “Go To” feature (Ctrl + G) rather than scrolling through all your data. This feature helps you quickly navigate to specific ranges or single cells by entering their address or name.

Finally, let’s move on to Selecting Multiple Cells in a Column!

Selecting Multiple Cells in a Column

Selecting multiple cells in a column doesn’t need to be difficult. Press Shift+Spacebar to select an entire row or Ctrl+Spacebar to select an entire column. You can also use the mouse’s scroll wheel while holding down the Ctrl key to highlight multiple rows at once. Furthermore, pressing Ctrl+A will quickly highlight all of your data in a table. Customize your own keyboard shortcuts to save time and make your life easier. Now, let’s look at selecting discontinuous cells in Excel.

Selecting Discontinuous Cells in Excel

Managing large datasets in Excel can be daunting. But mastering some simple shortcuts can make the selection of discontinuous cells a breeze!

Ctrl + Click to select multiple non-contiguous cells or ranges. Or use Ctrl + Shift + Arrow keys to select multiple disjointed columns and rows. To unselect a cell or range, hold down the Ctrl key and click it. And to remove all selections, press the Esc key.

To select an entire column or row, click on the letter or number next to its title. For example, to select column C, just click the ‘C’ beside its name.

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Mastering these shortcuts will help you select ranges of cells faster and more accurately.

Shortcuts for Selecting Ranges of Cells

Working with large data sets in Microsoft Excel can be time-consuming. Luckily, there are keyboard shortcuts to help select cells and ranges quickly and easily. I’m here to show you the top shortcuts for selecting ranges. From continuous ranges to non-continuous ranges, by the end of this you’ll be a pro at selecting cells and ranges in Excel.

Shortcuts for Selecting Ranges of Cells-15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel,

Image credits: by James Washington

Choosing a Continuous Range of Cells

Choosing a continuous range of cells in Excel can be tricky. To make it easier, here are some useful keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Shift + Arrow Key: Navigate to the first cell you want to select, hold down Shift and press arrow keys until all desired cells are highlighted.
  2. Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Keys: Selects all contiguous cells from your current position to the edge of your data set.
  3. F8 and Arrow Keys: Press F8 once to turn on Extend Mode, then use arrow keys to select a continuous range.
  4. Click-and-Drag method: Click on a cell and drag mouse down or across to highlight multiple adjacent cells.
  5. Double Click Method: Double-click on the row or column header and Excel will automatically select all contiguous cells.

An accountant and a developer had a heated debate about Excel shortcuts once! Who knew the developer knew more than the accountant?

These shortcuts are great time-savers and help improve efficiency while working in Excel.

Choosing Rows of Cells at Once

Click and drag the row selection for one way to select multiple rows of cells. You can also use the Shift key and press it along with the down arrow key. To choose all cells in the worksheet, use the “Ctrl + A” command.

Alternatively, press ‘Control’ while selecting individual rows which are not continuous. For a shortcut, try Shift+Space bar to highlight a whole row or Ctrl+Shift+Arrow down/Arrow up to move through a group of cells quickly.

Pro Tip: Press F4 to quickly add $ symbol to refer any range (e.g. B2:D10) as absolute reference ($B$2:$D$10).

If you need to select columns instead of rows, check out the next heading!

Selecting Columns of Cells Quickly

Ready to select columns faster? Use keyboard shortcuts! Press “Ctrl + Spacebar” to select the current column and “Shift + Spacebar” to select the entire row. Alternatively, type the column letter in the Name Box and press enter. Hey, did you know the maximum number of rows in Microsoft Excel is over 1 million (1,048,576 rows)? Pretty cool, huh? Now, let’s move on and discover how to quickly select non-continuous ranges of cells!

Selecting Non-continuous Ranges of Cells

Do you want to become an Excel master? Master the skill of selecting non-continuous ranges of cells! It’s essential for manipulating reports and summaries. Here are some shortcuts and combinations that’ll help you out:

  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click on each cell or range you need.
  • Select the first range or cell, hold down the Ctrl key, and then select the other ranges or cells.
  • Click on the first cell or range, hold down the Shift key, and select another cell or range not adjacent to the first one.
  • Select columns or rows by clicking on their headers while holding down Ctrl.
  • Use advanced functions like OFFSET, INDEX, MATCH, or INDIRECT with conditional formatting to create a dynamic non-continuous selection formula.
  • Create a custom VBA code to automate your non-continuous selection task.

With these shortcuts and combinations, you can quickly perform complex operations effortlessly and save your valuable time.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges

Welcome to our guide on Excel’s essential keyboard shortcuts for selecting cells & ranges. If you work with data, you know how powerful & efficient Excel is. Get the most out of Excel by using keyboard shortcuts! We will teach you the popular CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW Keys & the lesser-known ALT+; to Select Visible Cells Only. Let’s make your Excel experience faster & more productive!

Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges-15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel,

Image credits: by James Washington


CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW is a powerful keyboard shortcut for Excel. It lets you select cells and ranges without clicking each one. Here are 6 points about it:

  • CTRL+SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW: Selects all cells on the right of the current cell till the last non-empty one.
  • CTRL+SHIFT + LEFT ARROW: Selects all cells on the left of the current cell till the last non-empty one.
  • CTRL+SHIFT + UP ARROW: Selects all cells above the current cell till the first non-empty one.
  • CTRL+SHIFT + DOWN ARROW: Selects all cells below the current cell till the last non-empty one.
  • CTRL+SHIFT + END: Selects all cells from the active cell till it reaches an empty area.
  • CTRL+SHIFT + HOME: Selects all cells from A1 till it reaches an empty row or column.

Navigating Excel with CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW is easy and fast. You don’t need to drag your mouse around. This shortcut helps you jump between rows, columns, sheets, and workbooks. Plus, it saves time and effort. So, work smarter! Now, let’s move on to another shortcut: “CTRL+A for selecting All Cells at Once“.

CTRL+A for Selecting All Cells at Once

CTRL+A is one of the most helpful shortcuts in Excel. It quickly selects all cells in a worksheet or a specific range – without your mouse. Here’s how it works:

  • To select all cells: press CTRL+A twice.
  • To select data-containing cells: press CTRL+A three times.
  • To select a range of cells: click on any cell in the range then press CTRL+SHIFT+*.
  • To do more: use this shortcut with other keys like copy, paste, or format.

CTRL+A can save time when dealing with large datasets. You don’t have to drag your mouse or remember which cells you wanted.

Pro Tip: To select all cells across all sheets, right-click any worksheet tab and choose “Select All Sheets.” Then press CTRL+A.

Next up, SHIFT+SPACEBAR selects ranges in Excel.


SHIFT+SPACEBAR is a great keyboard shortcut for selecting rows in Excel. It saves time and is way better than clicking and dragging your mouse. Let’s discuss it in detail!

  • Press SHIFT+SPACEBAR to select the row which contains the active cell.
  • It works when any cell in that row is selected.
  • It selects multiple rows if you keep pressing it.
  • You can select non-adjacent rows with CTRL key.

With SHIFT+SPACEBAR, you can quickly select an entire row without having to click on the header row and scrolling down. It’s especially useful for large tables.

Say you have a long spreadsheet with 1000s of rows; manually navigating it can be a nightmare. But SHIFT+SPACEBAR makes it easier to move around without losing track of your location.

I once had to analyze a sales report for my company with thousands of rows. Using SHIFT+SPACEBAR saved me hours of clicking and scrolling.

Now, let’s talk about CTRL+SPACEBAR which quickly selects an entire column in Excel.


CTRL+SPACEBAR is a time-saving keyboard shortcut for selecting a whole column in Excel. Click a cell in the desired column, press CTRL+SPACEBAR and the entire column is selected! Holding the CTRL key and pressing SPACEBAR while clicking on each additional column will select multiple columns. This shortcut is awesome for large datasets. Plus, you can also use it to quickly clear the contents of a specific column by selecting it and pressing the delete key.

CTRL+SPACEBAR is a great productivity hack for Excel, as well as other Microsoft Office applications like Word and PowerPoint. If you need to select an entire row or column in one of these programs, now you know how!

Another cool shortcut is CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR. It works similarly to CTRL+SPACEBAR, but instead of selecting an entire column, it selects the entire range between two cells.

Stay tuned for more Excel keyboard shortcuts!



Hit CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR to select the entire worksheet in Excel! It’s great for quickly selecting all cells and then applying formatting or doing something else with them.

Here’re 6 points about CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR:

  • One press selects the active cell’s row.
  • Another press selects the whole worksheet.
  • Combine this shortcut with others to copy formulas across cells.
  • Pair this with CTRL and an arrow key to select big ranges of cells without dragging.
  • It’s especially useful when you need to format or apply conditional formatting to many cells at once.
  • To deselect everything, hit ESC.

Working with big data sets? Keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR can make life easier and save time.

Another tip for selecting cells and ranges: hit CTRL+SHIFT+F8 to select non-adjacent groups of cells that are not next to each other.

CTRL+SHIFT+F8 to Select Discontinuous Cells

CTRL+SHIFT+F8, a keyboard shortcut in Excel, is a great way to select non-adjacent cells. Here’s a tip on how to use it:

  1. Select the first cell or range of cells you need.
  2. Press and keep holding the CTRL key.
  3. Press SHIFT and F8 while still keeping CTRL held down.
  4. Now you can click on any extra cells or ranges you require.
  5. Release the keys when done.

This shortcut makes it much quicker to work with large datasets in Excel, as opposed to scrolling through thousands of rows to find specific cells. This saves you time and helps you focus on more important tasks like data analysis or making decisions from your findings.

So, don’t neglect the usefulness of CTRL+SHIFT+F8 for disconsonant cells in Excel. Give it a try today to see how much time it can save you!

And, don’t forget about The F5 Key for Navigation and Selection – another great shortcut for Excel users who want to optimize their workflow.

The F5 Key for Navigation and Selection

The F5 key is a powerful tool for navigating and selecting cells in Excel. Whether you need to quickly access certain cells or work with larger datasets, this shortcut is highly useful! It was first introduced with the original IBM Personal Computer/AT in 1986 and is now a standard feature on most keyboards.

Additionally, you can press Shift+F5 to quickly return to the last cell edited. To select only visible cells within a range, use the ALT+; command (or ALT+Shift+; on Mac). Go To dialog box can also be opened with F5, from which you can type cell or range references. Finally, create named ranges for quick access to frequently used cells and ranges.

ALT+; to Select Visible Cells Only

ALT+; to Select Visible Cells Only is a helpful Excel feature. It selects only the visible cells in a range and ignores any hidden or filtered cell data. This shortcut can be really useful when working with lots of data, as it avoids having to manually pick each cell or change filters.

Here are five benefits of ALT+; to Select Visible Cells Only:

  • Copy/paste only visible data within a selected range.
  • Exclude hidden/filtered cell data from calculations.
  • Easily select visible cells within a filter.
  • No need to manually select each visible cell.
  • Highlight only those cells, making it easier to view.

ALT+; to Select Visible Cells Only helps you work faster and more accurately with Excel data. One user found it was great for large datasets, as it made their job easier by only highlighting the important info.

Finally, here are some more shortcuts that make selecting cells and ranges in Excel simpler. They can help boost your productivity when using this powerful program.

Time-saving Tips for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel

As an Excel user, I’m always on the hunt for streamlining my workflow and saving time. That’s why I’m thrilled to explore this section on time-saving tips for selecting cells and ranges in Excel! We all know that selecting cells and ranges can be a hassle. But don’t worry. In this section, we’ll cover three ways to select cells and ranges in Excel.

  1. First, we’ll look at using keyboard shortcuts to cut down selection time.
  2. Second, we’ll use the mouse to select cell ranges.
  3. Finally, we’ll review keyboard shortcuts for quickly selecting cells.

With these tips, you can zip through your Excel spreadsheet faster and easier.

Time-saving Tips for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel-15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel,

Image credits: by David Duncun

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Reduce Time Spent Selecting Cells

Use the arrow keys to navigate quickly. Press Ctrl + Space to select a column, Shift + Space to select a row, and Ctrl + A to select the whole sheet. Tab through cells in a range with ease, and press F5 to get to a specific cell reference. Memorizing these will reduce time spent manually selecting cells on Excel, freeing up more time for other tasks. Fewer mouse clicks also lower the risk of developing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). I used to spend countless hours scrolling with my mouse, until I realized the power of keyboard shortcuts! With the right combination, I can now zip through spreadsheets and keep my hands safe. Next up, learn how to select ranges of cells with your mouse!

Utilizing the Mouse to Select Ranges of Cells

The Mouse is an ideal way to select Ranges of Cells. Click and drag to select the area you want. Place your cursor on the first cell, click and hold the left mouse button while dragging around the other cells. Alternatively, click on individual cells while holding down the Shift key. Select the first cell, then hold and click the last cell in the range, and release the Shift key.

For larger selections, utilize the header row or column’s feature.

Start using these techniques today. Don’t miss out on achieving more productivity in less time! Save time with these simple tips.

Knowing Keyboard Shortcuts to Quickly Select Desired Cells

Ctrl + arrow keys (up, down, left, or right) can be used to select a range.

Shift + arrow keys (up, down, left, or right) expands the selection.

Ctrl + Space bar selects an entire column and Shift + Space bar selects an entire row.

These shortcuts help you navigate and perform operations quickly in large spreadsheets. You don’t need to click on cells one by one.

F8 + arrow keys can also be used to select multiple cells. Press Esc when done.

Five Facts About 15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel:

  • ✅ Keyboard shortcuts can be a faster and more efficient way to select cells and ranges of cells in Excel compared to using a mouse or touchpad.
  • ✅ One common keyboard shortcut for selecting a range of cells is Shift + Arrow keys.
  • ✅ Another basic keyboard shortcut for selecting a cell is simply clicking on it with the arrow keys.
  • ✅ The F8 key can be used in combination with other keys to extend a selection or to select non-adjacent cells.
  • ✅ Keyboard shortcuts for selecting cells and ranges can save time and reduce the risk of making errors, especially when working with large data sets.

FAQs about 15 Keyboard Shortcuts For Selecting Cells And Ranges In Excel

What are the 15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel?

Here are the 15 Keyboard Shortcuts for Selecting Cells and Ranges in Excel:

  • CTRL + SHIFT + ARROW – selects a range of cells till the end of the data in the direction of the arrow
  • SHIFT + ARROW – selects one cell at a time in the direction of the arrow
  • CTRL + SHIFT + HOME – selects all cells from the current cell to the upper left corner of the worksheet
  • CTRL + SHIFT + END – selects all cells from the current cell to the lower right corner of the worksheet
  • CTRL + A – selects the entire worksheet
  • CTRL + SPACEBAR – selects the entire column of the active cell
  • SHIFT + SPACEBAR – selects the entire row of the active cell
  • CTRL + ; – selects the current date
  • CTRL + SHIFT + : – selects the current time
  • CTRL + / – selects the starting cell of a table
  • CTRL + SHIFT + * – selects the current region of cells around the active cell
  • CTRL + CLICK – selects multiple non-consecutive cells
  • SHIFT + CLICK – selects a range of cells between two clicks
  • CTRL + SHIFT + CLICK – selects multiple ranges of non-consecutive cells
  • F8 + Arrow keys – selects cells one by one using the arrow keys in extended selection mode