The best keyboard shortcuts for selecting data

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2000

The first step of selecting cells or a group of cells (called a range) is to position the cursor on a cell that is a corner of the area you want to select. Use the arrow keys to do this.

Picture of a range of cells with an active cell selected

To select a rectangle area around the active cell, hold down the SHIFT key and press the arrow keys. For example, to select a 2 by 4 rectangle, hold down the SHIFT key and press the RIGHT ARROW key one time and the DOWN ARROW key three times.

Picture of a range of cells with a 2 by 4 rectangle of cells selected.

Holding down the SHIFT key can be cumbersome, so Excel provides a way to "turn on" selecting with arrow keys. Press F8 to start using the arrow keys to select, and press F8 again when you are finished.

There are other useful keyboard shortcuts to use for selecting data.

Press To
CTRL+A Select the entire worksheet
CTRL+SPACEBAR Select the entire column
SHIFT+SPACEBAR Select the entire row
F8 Turn on extending a selection by using the arrow keys
CTRL+SHIFT+END Extend the selection to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner)
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME Extend the selection to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL+SHIFT+arrow key Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell
SHIFT+F8 Add another range of cells to the selection; or use the arrow keys to move to the start of the range you want to add, and then press F8 and the arrow keys to select the next range

For more information about keyboard shortcuts, type shortcuts in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search.