Excel Most Wanted – Selection shortcut keys Mega collection

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While working in Excel or any data related job selection is one job in itself. And even in Excel it is not easy when you making your way through thousands of cells. However, life is much easier if you know selection tricks Excel has to offer and even better is they come in shape of shortcut keys which you can remember for daily usage.

In this mega collection which just relates to one thing and one thing only SELECTION we have made up an almost ultimate collection of selection shortcuts. Each and every shortcut key deserves a place among top excel shortcut keys which every accountant must know if he is after speed efficiency and productivity in his number crunching, analysis or any other task in Excel.

Selection Supremacy

Shortcut Key / Combo Description / Result
CTRL+SHIFT+* Selects the current region around the active cell (the data area enclosed by blank rows and blank columns).
CTRL+A If worksheet is blank:
Selects whole worksheet. Just like pressing the select all button at the top left corner where the rows and columns meet.If worksheet is NOT blank:

  • selects the current region.
  • Executing the combo second time selects whole worksheet.
CTRL+SHIFT+O selects every cell that contains comment.
F8 Toggle extended selection mode on or off. When on (status bar notifies “Extended Selection”) selection extends in the direction of arrow key pressed.
SHIFT+F8 Toggles “Add to selection” mode on or off. When on (status bar notifies “Add to selection”) any cell, row or column highlighted or selected will be added to selection. It helps selecting nonadjacent cells and also range of cells
SHIFT+ARROW KEY extends the selection by one cell (row or column) in the direction of arrow keys pressed
CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY extends the selection to next nonblank cell in the same row or column in the direction of arrow key pressed.
CTRL+SHIFT+END On the worksheet
extends the selection of cells to the last bottom right cell used on the worksheet. Even if it is empty if it has been used selection will extend to that cell.In the formula barselects text input in formula bar from the cursor position till the end without affecting height of formula bar
ENTER By default, on pressing completes the input and move the selection to the cell below. It can be changed in Excel’s options.
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME Selects all the rows and columns between the active cell and the first cell A1 of worksheet
CTRL+SHIFT+PAGE DOWN selects the current and the next work sheet in a workbook. Each time one worksheet is selected.
CTRL+SHIFT+PAGE UP selects the current and previous sheet in the same workbook. Each time one worksheet is selected
CTRL+SPACEBAR selects an entire column in a worksheet.If used outside a table, select entire column. If used inside a table, toggle between selecting the data, data and headers, and the entire column.
SHIFT+SPACEBAR selects an entire row in a worksheet.If worksheet has tableInside the table, toggles between selecting the table row and the entire row of worksheet
CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR selects the entire worksheet.If the worksheet contains data

Pressing once selects the current region.

Pressing the second time selects the current region and its summary rows.

Pressing the third time selects the entire worksheet.

If object is selected

selects all objects on a worksheet.

Shift+backspace Having multiple cells selected, executing this combo will reduce the selection to active cell.
Ctrl+/ Select the array containing the active cell.
Ctrl+Shift+O (letter O) Select all cells that contain comments.
Ctrl+\ Within the selection, selects the cells in other rows with values that do not match the values in the row where active cell is
Ctrl+Shift+\ select cells with unequal or unique values within the selection i.e. the values that repeat will not be selected. It will also exclude such cells from selection that contain formulaSame as “Ctrl + Shift + |” below
Ctrl+Shift+| or Ctrl+Shift+\ Within the selection, selects the cells in other columns with values that do not match the values in the column where active cell is
Ctrl+[ (opening square bracket or box bracket) Having a cell selected that contains formula executing this combo will select all the cells on which formula directly depends or to which formula directly refers.
Ctrl+] (closing square bracket or box bracket) Selects all such cells that contain formula that refer directly to active cell.
Ctrl+Shift+{ (opening brace or curly brack) Having a cell selected that contains formula executing this combo will select all the cells on which formula directly or indirectly depends or to which formula directly or indirectly refers.
Ctrl+Shift+} (closing brace or curly bracket) Select all such cells that contain formulas that directly or indirectly refer to active cell.
Alt+; (semicolon) Select only the visible cells from the current selection. For example filtered results.
Worth mentioning
CTRL+SHIFT+( (opening round bracket) It will unhide any rows hidden inside the selection
CTRL+SHIFT+& Applies the outline border to the selected cells.
CTRL+SHIFT+_   (underscore) Removes the outline border from the selected cells.

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