Excel Intro:
Select a Cell

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want Working with Numbers: 2007,2010,2013,2016  or españolIcon: Change web

To make the necessary practice with the Excel interface at least a little more interesting, you will be using a budget spreadsheet for World Travel Inc. The amounts used in this sheet for income and expenses are fiction.

If Excel does not behave as the directions say it will, some of its settings may not be at the defaults. The settings are discussed in Project 2. 

Unless you are using a really large resolution, you will have to scroll to see all of the sheet. This is common for spreadsheets.

Spreadsheet is too wide for the window.
Spreadsheets are often too wide for your window.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Numbers

Before you start...

Project 1: Excel Intro
    InterfaceTo subtopics
    Select & Navigate To subtopics
     footprintSelect Cell
     footprintSelect Range
     footprintSelect Row/Column
     footprintSelect Sheet
           Methods Popup Table
           Shortcut keys Popup Table
    Common TasksTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: Excel BasicsTo subtopics

Project 3: Format & ArrangeTo subtopics

Project 4: Groups & FormulasTo subtopics

Project 5: DesignTo subtopics


Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step: Select Cell

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to select a cell with the mouse
                         with keys
                         by cell reference
                         by name
 to select all cells

Start with: Excel with blank document (Excel open to blank document), budget.xls from resource files

Select Cell: Click

Clicking any cell selects it. Sometimes the problem is to get to the cell.

  1. C4 selectedClick on cell C4 to select it.

    The cell gains a wider border in a contrasting color to show that it is selected. The cell reference shows in the Name Box. The cell's contents show in the Formula bar.

  2. Scroll down until cell A44 is at the top of the sheet window.

    TipThe scroll box will only scroll the screen until the last row with data in it is showing. To scroll blank cells into view, use the scroll arrow.

  3. Click cell A45 to select it.

    It can take a bit of work to move to some cells!

Select Cell:  Keys 

Check the row heading and column heading buttons as you follow the directions below. They will look like buttons for the row and column of the active cell.

  1. Cell E45Press TAB repeatedly until you move to cell E45, which will then have the dark border that shows it is selected. 
  2. Press the UP arrow key repeatedly to move the selection to E20.
  3. Press the RIGHT arrow key repeatedly to move the selection to J20.
  4. Keyboard shortcut Press the HOME key to move the selection to A20, the beginning of the row.
  5. Keyboard shortcut Use the key combo CTRL + HOME to move the top left of the sheet - cell A1.
  6. Keyboard shortcut Press END and then right arrow to move to the end of the row -cell IV1.
  7. Keyboard shortcut Press END and then left arrow to move to the beginning of the row again - cell A1.

Select Cell: Cell Reference

By using the Name Box you can avoid long scrolls.

  1. Name Box  = N46Click in the Name Box on the Formula Bar and type the cell reference N46 

    You don't have to use capital letters in cell references.


  2. Cell N46 - the last cellPress ENTER. You are moved directly to that cell. (This is cool!)
  3. Scroll up using the scroll arrow until you see Row 10. (Watch the popup tip while you are scrolling. The window won't actually change until you stop.)
  4. Scroll to the left using the horizontal scroll bar until you see Column A. The selected cell is still back at N46.
  5. Keyboard shortcut Use the key combo CTRL + BACKSPACE to return to the selected cell, still N46.
  6. Keyboard shortcut Press CTRL + HOME to move back to the top of the sheet and select cell A1.

Select Cell: Name

Name special cells and ranges that you move to often. Names are so much easier to remember than columns and rows!
  1. Select cell N44.
  2. Click in the Name Box and type Total Income 1998. Press ENTER. Whoops. You will see an error message because you used a space in the cell's name.
  3. Click on OK in the message window.
  4. Retype the name as TotalIncome1998 and press ENTER. This works fine.
  5. Return the selection to cell A1.
  6. Drop the list for the Name Box by clicking its arrow.
  7. Name Box list - TotalIncome1998Select TotalIncome1998. You are immediately moved the cell with that name - N44.

Select Cells: Select All

There is a quick way to select all the cells on the sheet. But you have to know where to look!

  1. Button: Select AllClick on the Select All button at the intersection of the column and row headings. All cells on the sheet are selected.
Selecting the whole sheet can be dangerous. It might seem logical to format the whole sheet at once. Don't! Formatting 256 columns and 65,536 rows can take a very, VERY long time to complete. Format only what you really need to format.