Selecting the Entire Row or Column

March 21, 2013


Excel on Mac   Excel Shortcuts for Mac   highlighting column   highlighting row   Selecting entire column   Selecting entire row   selecting rows and columns  

We’re a team of problem solvers, world travelers, idea guys, and doers, working to make using Excel on a Mac a better experience.

That’s enough about us -- whether you are new to Excel for Mac or an experienced user, you probably want to spend less time manipulating data and more time thinking. The Excel Skin will help you do that. If you are a PC user hesitant about switching to Mac because you don’t want to give up your customized menus and shortcuts, well, the Excel Skin just might be the myth-buster you need. Excel for Mac is just as capable as it is for the PC. And with the Excel Skin, you’ll relearn your old shortcuts in no time.

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This week’s shortcut will combine two similar and very useful shortcuts: selecting the entire row and selecting the entire column.  Although they are executed with two different key combinations they perform a very similar function.  

Selecting the Entire Column:

Step 1: A great part about this shortcut is you can execute it from any cell in the column you want to select.  

With the active cell in the picture above I am setting myself up to highlight the column.

Step 2: To highlight the column, execute the “Select Entire Column” shortcut.  This shortcut can be found on the space bar.  Like all Excel Skin shortcuts, the “Select Entire Column” shortcut is color-coded and corresponds to the modifier key, or keys, that match the color-coded text.  The “Select Entire Column” text is yellow.  Looking to our modifier keys we can see the "control" key is the only modifier key with the corresponding yellow text.  Therefore our shortcut to select the entire column is ⌃Space Bar.

Once the shortcut is executed the entire column will be selected:

From here you can modify the selected column in any way you like.

Selecting the Entire Row:

Selecting the entire row uses the same exact process as selecting the entire column, only with different keystrokes for the shortcut.

Step 1: Select a cell in the row you wish to highlight.

Just as when selecting the entire column, any cell in the row you wish to select may be active.

Step 2: The “Select Entire Row” shortcut is also found on the space bar in blue text.  The “Select Entire Row” text corresponds with the color on the “shift” key, therefore our shortcut to select the entire row is ⇧Space Bar.

Now the entire row is selected.

Selecting an entire row or column can be used for an infinite number of reasons.  Perhaps you want to highlight a row or column to make it stand out in your spreadsheet, or maybe you are trying to copy the row or column and move it elsewhere.  Whatever it is you may be doing, selecting the entire row or column with this shortcut will speed up the process. 

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