Tame your computer - shortcuts to selection


In her regular series for Cambridge Network members, software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'. This week she explains how to select rows and columns in a table (Microsoft Excel).

Since Excel 2007 you can quickly turn a range of cells into something resembling the stock listing paper that mainframe computers used to print out. (Remember those faint green horizontal lines?) It will also switch on the filtering functionality, making it easy to summarise and analyse your data.

It used to be called a list, but it is nowadays known as a table. Hence the fact that both CTRL + L and CTRL + T work to quickly create a table. (See Tip #429)

An Excel table can be thought of as a database. With it, you can store large (or small!) amounts of information and organise it any way you wish. You can also use its powerful Table Tools to quickly retrieve data and manipulate it in numerous ways.

A table typically consists of rows and columns, which you can obviously select just like you would select them in a worksheet. But if you want to select the data only - for example, in order to copy and paste it - you can use some simple keyboard shortcuts.

Here’s how:

  1. Select the entire table, including the table headers: press CTRL + A twice.
  2. Select the data in a row, not the entire row: click the first cell in the table row and press CTRL + SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW.
  3. Select the data in a column (not the entire column): click the first cell in the table column and press CTRL + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW. (Or click anywhere in the table column and press CTRL + SPACEBAR.)

Related tips:

 Quickly format and enable filtering of your data

Quickly move to the end of a range of cells in a row or column

Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

30 October 2017

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.  Contact her by email (Karen@roem.co.uk) or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk


Karen Roem
Microsoft Office-ionado

Roem Ltd – software training and support