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One of the most useful skills you can have when you work in Excel is selecting cells or groups of cells. In this movie, I will teach you some techniques to select cells in your worksheets. First, if you want to select a single cell, you can just click it. For example, if I wanted to select the value here in cell B5, I can just click cell B5, and you can see that it's outlined in blue. That indicates that the cell I just clicked is the active cell. I can now take actions on that cell, so, for example, I can make it bold, I can make it italic, or bold and italic.
I will just back out of those changes for now and show you some more selection techniques. If you want to select a group of cells, you can click the first cell and then drag to select other cells. So let's say, for example, I click here on cell B5 - my left mouse button is now down - and I drag to select cells all the way down to D8. So all of these cells are now the selection, and I can act on them the same way I did before: make them bold, make them italic, copy and paste, and so on. If you want to select non-adjacent cells, the first thing you do is you select a group of cells, in this case A1 through D7, then you hold down the Command key and select the other group.
So, for example, if I want to select these cells, my selection now consists of both groups. The highlighting is a little faint, but you can see that these cells are outlined in blue, and these cells here are also outlined in blue, and this cell here, one with the value 15,058, is in white because that is technically the active cell. To make it a little bit more visual, I will change the color of the font to red, so now you can see which cells have been selected. I will just undo that change, pressing Command+Z key. Now I am getting a little bit ahead of myself, but you can't copy a multi-region selection.
For example, if I wanted to take these values, the ones I have selected right now, and paste them into another part of the worksheet, normally, I would just press Command+C. Unfortunately, you can't do that on multiple selections. However, as I demonstrated earlier when I changed the font color to red, you can't perform formatting operations on these cells when you have selected a multi-region selection. I'll clear this selection by clicking any other cell, and now I will show you how to select an individual cell, or a group of cells, by typing in their address. Here, right above the A column header and to the left of the formula bar, is what's called the Name box.
The Name box contains a reference to the active cell. In this case that's cell B8, column B, row 8, and there is the cell, and that cell's address appears in the Name box. If I want to select another cell, for example, say cell D5, I can type D5 - upper or lowercase is fine - press Enter, and Excel selects the cell with the address I just typed in. If I wanted to select cells D5 through D7, I would type D5:D7, press Return, and I have selected those cells.
Now let's say that you want to select an entire row or column. So, for example, let's say that you have a lot of data, more than is shown on the screen, in column E. If you want to select the entire column, you can click the column header, and you'll see that the mouse pointer changes from a white cross to a downward-pointing black arrow, and when I click the column header, I've now selected the entire column. If I want to copy it, I can press Command+C, go over to column I, select it, and when I click Command+V to paste it, I get all of the values from column E. If I want to get rid of it, I can click the column header, Ctrl+Click it and then click either Cut, which gets rids of all the contents, or Delete, which gets rid of the column.
You can do it something similar for rows. Let's say that you wanted to copy these headers, in this case Month, then I have calendar year 2005, 2006, and so on. If I want to select that row, I can click the header for row 4, select it and then do cut, copy, paste, whatever I want. Now let's say that you want to select multiple rows. For example, if I want to select the first four rows of the worksheet, row 1 through row 4, to do that, you select the first row by clicking its header, you go down to the last row that you want to copy, in this case row 4, holding down the Shift key, you will then left-click, and you will select every row from row 1 to row 4. And the same thing works for columns: going from B to E, hold down the Shift key to click, and you select all of those columns.
If you want to select a series of individual rows instead of an entire set, you can use the Command key. So, for example, if I want to select column D and column F but not column E, I first click the header for column D, move the mouse pointer over to the column F header, hold down the Command key and click, and I have just selected those two columns individually, but column E is not selected, and it's the same thing for rows. Now row 1 and row 4 are selected. Selecting worksheet cells lets you manipulate those cells by copying, cutting, or moving them and their contents.
In future movies, I'll show you how to make use of the cells you've selected.
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