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Select Cells

An Excel worksheet is made up of rows and columns. The intersection of a row and column is called a cell. If you want to perform an action on the contents of cells, you must first select them. For example, if you want to bold, you must select the cells and then issue the bold command. You can select a single cell, the entire worksheet, a contiguous block of cells, noncontiguous blocks of cells, a column, or a row.

Select a Single Cell

Select cell

Click a cell. Excel selects the cell.

Select an Entire Worksheet

Select entire worksheet
Click the Select All button. Excel selects the entire worksheet.

Select Contiguous Cells

click and drag to select

  1. Click in the first cell. Do not release the mouse button.
  2. Drag to the last cell.
  3. Release the mouse button. Excel selects the area between the first and last cell.

Or
use the shift key to select

  1. Click in the first cell.
  2. Hold down the Shift key.
  3. Click in the last cell.
  4. Release the Shift key. Excel selects the area between the first and last cell.

Select Noncontiguous Cells

Select noncontiguous cells

  1. Click in the first cell.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key.
  3. Drag to the last cell.
  4. Release the mouse button while continuing to hold down the Ctrl key. Excel selects the area between the first and last cell.
  5. Click in the first cell of the next area.
  6. Drag to the last cell.
  7. Release the mouse button. Release the Ctrl key. Excel selects the area between the first and last cell. You now have two noncontiguous blocks.

Select Columns

Select columns

  1. Click the column indicator. Do not release the mouse button.
  2. Drag to the last column you want to select.
  3. Release the mouse button. Excel selects the columns.

Select Rows

Select rows

  1. Click the row indicator. Do not release the mouse button.
  2. Drag to the last row you want to select.
  3. Release the mouse button. Excel selects the rows.
Selection Shortcut Keys
Shortcut Keys Description
Ctrl + A Selects the entire worksheet or if the cursor is within a block of cell entries, selects the current block of cell entries
Shift + Right Arrow Expand the selection to the right
Shift + Left Arrow Expand the selection to the left
Shift + Up Arrow Expand the selection up
Shift + Down Arrow Expand the selection down
Ctrl + Spacebar Select columns
Shift + Spacebar Select rows

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