Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard.

Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2020)

1

Most people know that you can select a noncontiguous range of cells by using the mouse. All you need to do is click the first cell in the range and then hold down the Ctrl key as you click other cells in the range. (This is often referred to as creating a selection set of cells.)

Some folks don't like using the mouse that much. If you are in that camp, you may wonder if there is a way to select a noncontiguous range simply by using the keyboard. Fortunately there is, but very few folks know about it. Provided that you know the addresses of the cells you want in the range, follow these steps:

  1. Press F5 or Ctrl+G. Excel displays the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  3. In the Reference box at the bottom of the dialog box, type the address of the first cell or range you want selected.
  4. Type a comma, followed by an additional range.
  5. Repeat step 3 for each additional cell or range you want in the selection set.
  6. Click OK (or press Enter). Excel selects all the cells and ranges you entered in the Reference box.

As an example, if you wanted your noncontiguous range to include cells A7, B2, F14 through G22, and T18, you would enter the following into the Reference box:

A7,B2,F14:G22,T18

Clicking OK then selects all these cells. In addition, the last cell that you entered is the "active cell" in the selected range.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10919) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Aligning Positive and Negative Whole Numbers in a Column

When you use a table to present numeric information, you may want to have Word align the numbers in the table. This can ...

Discover More

Modifying the Backup Copy File Name

Backup files, created automatically by Word, have the filename extension WBK and start with the words "Backup of." If you ...

Discover More

Countering Compressed Columns

If you open a workbook and find that the width of some of your columns has been changed, the discovery can be ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Three-Dimensional Transpositions

Excel makes it easy to transpose your data so that rows become columns and columns rows. It doesn't have a built-in ...

Discover More

Easily Entering Dispersed Data

Need to enter information into a bunch of cells that aren't anywhere near each other in the worksheet? Here's a handy way ...

Discover More

Ranges on Multiple Worksheets

Referring to a range of cells on the current worksheet is easy. But what if you want to refer to a range on a number of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 5?

2020-02-08 10:39:13

Mark

Thank you for sticking up for (or at least acknowledging) us keyboard warriors.

Are we misomusonists? That's a word I think I just made up for dislike of mice - in my case computer mice ;-)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.