Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Creating Selections.

Creating Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2021)

5

Having survived the DOS era I find myself reluctant to give up keyboarding, and one of my favorite keyboard functions in Excel is the F8 Extend key.

By moving the cell pointer to the starting cell, you can press F8 to enable Extend (indicated on the status bar by the letters EXT or Extend Selection). Using the mouse, you can click on the final cell of a contiguous range to extend the selection highlight. All keyboard cursor keys can also be used to extend the selection.

For extremely large ranges you can do the following:

  1. Select the cell with which you want to start your selection.
  2. Press F8 to activate Extend mode. The letters EXT or the words Extend Selection appear on the status bar. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. Extend mode is engaged.

  4. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Go To dialog box.

  6. Enter the ending cell address in the Reference box.
  7. Press Enter or click OK. Excel extends the selection to include everything between the cell you selected in step 1 and the cell you specified in step 4.

For non-contiguous ranges the key combination of Shift+F8 turns on Add. Using the mouse you can click and drag each required block of ranges.

To cancel either Extend or Add press the Esc key or press F8 or Shift+F8 again.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12106) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Creating Selections.

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. ...

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What is eight more than 0?

2021-04-19 10:32:47

RKeev

Another way, No need for the "go to special", Simply select a cell and the selected cell appears in the selection box (above column A); just change this to the range you want (similar to what Kiwerry suggested) A25:D35 to select a single block of cells, or enter A25:D35,A45:D55 to select two non-contiguous blocks of cells.


2021-04-19 04:56:35

Kiwerry

Thanks for this, Allen; here's a small addition:
If one knows the addresses of the upper left and lower right cells of each block in the required selection, it is possible to do it using only the keyboard as follows:
Ctrl-G to open the GoTo dialogue as mentioned above
Enter, for example, A25:D35 to select a single block, or
enter A25:D35,A45:D55 to select two non-contiguous blocks.


2017-05-22 13:17:06

Anne

I love this tip. Thanks, Alan.


2017-05-21 21:20:49

Don White

Thanks For this tip

Its Brilliant, and I never knew this!!


2017-05-21 08:33:39

Ofer Rotshtein

Hi,
I use the Shift to sellect area and Ctrl to add another area to multipal area.
Ofer


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