Clear the contents or formats of cells

You can clear cells to remove the cell contents (formulas and data), formats (including number formats, conditional formats, and borders), and any attached comments. The cleared cells remain as blank or unformatted cells on the worksheet.

  1. Select the cells, rows, or columns that you want to clear.

ShowHow to select cells, rows, or columns

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

Cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet headings

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
The first or last cell in a row or column Select a cell in the row or column, and then press CTRL+ARROW KEY (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).
The first or last cell on a worksheet or in a Microsoft Excel list

Press CTRL+HOME to select the first cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list.

Press CTRL+END to select the last cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list that contains data or formatting.

More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell (active cell: The selected cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The active cell is bounded by a heavy border.) and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.
Cancel a selection of cells Click any cell on the worksheet.

 Note   To cancel a selection of rows or columns, click any cell on the worksheet.

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Clear, and then do one of the following:
    • To clear everything that is contained in the selected cells, click All.
    • To clear only the formats that are applied to the cells, click Formats.
    • To clear only the contents, leaving any formats and comments in place, click Contents.
    • To clear any comments that are attached to the selected cells, click Comments.

 Notes 

  • If you click a cell and then press DELETE or BACKSPACE, Excel clears the cell contents but does not remove comments or cell formats.
  • If you clear a cell, the value of the cleared cell is 0 (zero), and a formula that refers to that cell receives a value of 0.
  • If you want to remove cells from the worksheet and shift the surrounding cells to fill the space, you can delete them by selecting them and then clicking Delete on the Edit menu.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003