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 May 20, 2017)


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 five less than 8?

2017-05-22 13:17:06


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

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

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