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Rows & columns

Select cell contents in Excel

In Excel, you can select cell contents of one or more cells, rows and columns.

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Note: If a worksheet has been protected, you might not be able to select cells or their contents on a worksheet.

Select one or more cells

  1. Click on a cell to select it. Or use the keyboard to navigate to it and select it.

  2. To select a range, select a cell, then with the left mouse button pressed, drag over the other cells.

    Or use the Shift + arrow keys to select the range.

  3. To select non-adjacent cells and cell ranges, hold Ctrl and select the cells.

Select one or more rows and columns

  1. Select the letter at the top to select the entire column. Or click on any cell in the column and then press Ctrl + Space.

  2. Select the row number to select the entire row. Or click on any cell in the row and then press Shift + Space.

  3. To select non-adjacent rows or columns, hold Ctrl and select the row or column numbers.

Select table, list or worksheet

  1. To select a list or table, select a cell in the list or table and press Ctrl + A.

  2. To select the entire worksheet, click the Select All button at the top left corner.

    Select All button

Note: In some cases, selecting a cell may result in the selection of multiple adjacent cells as well. For tips on how to resolve this issue, see this post How do I stop Excel from highlighting two cells at once? in the community.

To select

Do this

A single cell

Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.

A range 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. To stop extending the selection, press F8 again.

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. To stop adding cells or ranges to the selection, press SHIFT+F8 again.

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

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet headings

1. Row heading

2. Column heading

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 Office Excel table

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.

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.

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 and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community or get support in the Answers community.

See Also

Select specific cells or ranges

Add or remove table rows and columns in an Excel table

Move or copy rows and columns

Transpose (rotate) data from rows to columns or vice versa

Freeze panes to lock rows and columns

Lock or unlock specific areas of a protected worksheet

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