Excel: Selecting Cells Made Easy

The Mystery of the Runaway Mouse: Solved!

Have you ever tried to select just certain cells in Excel and before you knew it, you were down at row 2002? You can spend a great deal of frustrating time selecting just the right cells – you can go down too far, then go up too far, too far to the left, or too far to the right – that is what I call the runaway mouse. Maybe you know the trick that you can click in the first cell, hold down the Shift key, then click in the last cell and release the Shift key. If the sequence of the keystrokes is just right (and I mean perfect) then you get what you want.

But I have a much simpler way to select a range of cells in Excel. It is the F8 key – just one keystroke with no sequential movements.

  1. Click in the first cell that you want.
  2. Tap the F8 key once and let it up.
  3. Click in the last cell that you want.

Now you have your range of cells! You can name that range of cells by clicking once in the name box area, typing in a name and pressing Enter.

Excel Name Box

To stop the highlighting, simply press the ESC key and you are free to mouse into any cell you want without continuing the selection process. Instantly, you are back into the normal mouse.

Use your newly named range in any of the formulas that you want.

Learn more easy tricks in our Excel classes.

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