The Excel Skinny

A blog about Excel and its users

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!  

 

Selecting multiple cells with the Mouse in Microsoft Excel for Mac can be an inaccurate and messy affair.  Thankfully, with the help of the Excel Skin, we don’t have to use the mouse. We can keep our hands on the keyboard and select our cells with accuracy using the Shift and arrow keys.  

Here is our data: 

I’d like to select George, Anna, Brian, and David without using my mouse at all, how do I do it?  

First scroll to one of the cells you wish to select with the arrow keys.  

Now to select the others hold the Shift key and use the arrow keys.  

⇧arrow

I am going to click the down arrow once to select Anna, then the right arrow once to select Brian and David:

And there you have it!  I’ve selected the 4 cells I wanted to accurately and without using the mouse. After all, you can never have enough keyboard!