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Part 3. Using Excel > Task 3 How to Select Cells

Task 3 How to Select Cells

If cells are the building blocks of worksheets, ranges are the mortar for holding them together. A range is a rectangular group of adjacent cells. After you select a range of cells, you can perform a variety of tasks on them all in one simple step. You can format a group of cells all at once, for example, rather than one cell at a time. You can use a range to print a specific group of cells from your worksheet. You can also use ranges in formulas, which can really save you time. (Learn how to name ranges in Task 9, "How to Define a Range Name.")

  1. Click the First Cell

    To select a range, start by clicking the first cell in the range. Typically, this is the upper-left cell in the range you want to select.



  2. Drag to Select

    Hold down the mouse button and drag across the cells you want to include in the range. (Drag downward and to the left, to the cell located in the bottom-right corner of the range.)



  3. Release the Mouse Button

    When you release the mouse button, the range is selected. (The active cell—the cell you clicked in Step 1—is not highlighted, while the rest of the range is.) Ranges are referred to by their anchor points: the top-left corner and the bottom-right corner. For example, the range shown here is referred to as B4:F7.



  4. Select a Range with the Keyboard

    To select a range using the keyboard, use the arrow keys to move to the first cell in the range.



  5. Use the Shift Key

    Press and hold the Shift key, and then use the arrow keys to select the range. The range selected here is A10:F16.



  6. Select the Entire Worksheet

    To select the entire worksheet as a range, click the Select All button located at the top of the worksheet to the left of the column labels.




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