Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks: How to select cells more efficiently

Microsoft Excel is a very common and popular software program. People around the world especially at work use it regularly but there are still lots of impressive tricks this amazing creation can do. In my Excel tips and tricks tutorial series I will be explaining these amazing tips and tricks from very basic like selecting the cells to very complex things like VBA & Macros.
So let’s start with the basics:

How to select cells more efficiently

It is very common thing among excel users to select cells they just drag over the cell with the mouse which is not that effective way to do the selection. The best way for the selection is using your keyboard. One very simple way is to press & hold shift key and then use the arrow keys to make the selection and when you have a large area to select use page up and page down keys. If you want to quickly go to the last non empty column use End key for that.

Here are few more ways for selection:

Selecting Range:   To select large rectangular section of cells move cell pointer anywhere in the region and press Ctrl + A. When selecting very large rectangular area in the worksheet people mostly use clicking and dragging method. For this purpose click may be the most efficient way but you don’t have to do the dragging. Just click and select the upper left cell and then scroll down to the right cell of the range. Now you just have to press and hold the shift key and click on that lower right cell and the desired range will be selected. There are two ways for selecting non adjacent cells and ranges. First method, simply press + hold Ctrl key and click then select the cells or ranges you want. Second method, select the range by using shift key method describes above, then press shift + F8 to select another cell or range. When you press Shift + F8 you will be able to choose another cell or range without canceling the previously selected one.

Complete Row:        To select the entire single row just click the number of that particular row which you will find on the left side of the worksheet. Another way of doing this is to just select any cell in the desired row and press Shift + Spacebar.
If you want to select the multiple rows adjacent to each other with mouse you will just click and drag in the row number region. Using keyboard, just select any cell in first or last row of the adjacent rows you want to select and press Shift + Spacebar and then while still pressing Shift use the arrow keys to move up or down to select the number of rows you want.
And one more thing, to select multiple non adjacent rows press and hold Ctrl key and click on the number of the rows on the left side on the worksheet. Using this technique you can easily include any row in your selection without any particular order.

Select ranges on multiple sheets:         You can select multiple ranges from different worksheets. People mostly select multi sheet ranges when they want to organize and apply the same format to all the sheets in the document. For example if I want to make all the heading on every sheet bold and make its background Yellow. I will select headings on all the sheets and apply the desired changes.
To individually select the worksheets, press and hold Ctrl & then click on the sheet tab of the worksheets that you want to include. To select ranges of the multiple sheets first you have to select the range on one sheet and then select other worksheets to include in the range. For selecting a group of adjacent worksheets, you will press and hold Shift & then click on the sheet tab of the last worksheet which you want to include in your selections. To leave the group mode you just have to click on any sheet tab.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011