The Excel Skinny

A blog about Excel and its users

The Select All shortcut is by far the most commonly used shortcut for selecting all the cells in an Excel spreadsheet, but what happens when you have hidden columns and rows that you don’t want selected?  You use the select only visible cells shortcut of course!  

The select only visible cells shortcut will perform the same action as Select All, but it will ensure only the cells you can see on the spreadsheet are selected.  

This is useful when dealing with hidden rows or columns that don’t necessarily need to be selected.  Perhaps you are changing the format of your entire spreadsheet or copying only the visible cells to another spreadsheet that doesn’t need all those hidden columns.  The select only visible cells shortcut has a place in your Mac Excel shortcut repertoire!

Step 1: This shortcut can be executed from anywhere on the Microsoft Excel Shortcut:

⇧⌘Z

And boom!  All visible cells in your Excel spreadsheet are now selected.  From here you can copy the selected cells to paste to another spreadsheet, change the format of all the visible cells, delete everything, or anything else you want to do!  

Dragging your mouse around to select cells is tedious and can result in some pretty wild failures due to Excel's sometimes erratic scrolling.  The preferred method of selecting cells is to do so with the arrow keys, one cell at a time.  That way you can be accurate and efficient, without making a mistake.  

Select the cell you wish to start your selection from.  This is usually one end of the array of data or the other.  Starting in the middle will only add unwanted steps to the process.  

 

From here I want to select only the first 5 cells.  

To do so, hold the Shift key and tap the Down Arrow until the cells you wish to select are all highlighted.

Now I can copy, cut, change font, or anything else I want to do with these 5 cells and I never had to take my fingers off the keys!  

Feel free to comment on any Excel on Mac questions you may have!