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Selecting cells and groups of cells

From: Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Selecting cells and groups of cells

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.

Selecting cells and groups of cells

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 29661 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
  2. 20m 56s
    1. Exploring the Excel 2011 window
      4m 16s
    2. Introducing the Ribbon for Mac
      4m 44s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      4m 20s
    4. Setting program preferences
      3m 20s
    5. Getting help in Excel
      4m 16s
  3. 20m 4s
    1. Opening, creating, and saving workbooks
      5m 23s
    2. Setting workbook properties
      4m 14s
    3. Creating and modifying workbook templates
      4m 18s
    4. Managing workbooks across multiple versions of Excel
      6m 9s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Selecting cells and groups of cells
      4m 58s
    2. Copying and pasting cell data
      2m 39s
    3. Entering data using AutoFill and other techniques
      4m 32s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      5m 3s
    5. Creating an Excel table
      4m 43s
    6. Locating and changing data using Find and Replace
      4m 57s
    7. Restricting input using validation rules
      4m 42s
    8. Using lists to limit data entered into a cell
      2m 32s
    9. Sorting worksheet data
      3m 2s
    10. Creating a custom sort order
      3m 54s
    11. Filtering worksheet data
      4m 6s
    12. Inserting, moving, and deleting cells and cell ranges
      3m 50s
    13. Splitting and freezing rows and columns
      3m 51s
    14. Managing worksheets
      5m 28s
    15. Creating, editing, and deleting headers and footers
      4m 41s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Introducing Excel formulas and functions
      3m 17s
    2. Adding a formula to a cell
      4m 0s
    3. Introducing arithmetic operators
      4m 13s
    4. Using absolute and relative cell references
      6m 29s
    5. Controlling how Excel copies and pastes formulas
      6m 5s
    6. Referring to Excel table data in formulas
      2m 3s
    7. Creating an AutoSum formula
      3m 22s
    8. Summarizing data on the status bar
      2m 22s
    9. Joining text in cells with concatenation
      3m 59s
    10. Summarizing data using an IF function
      6m 21s
    11. Summarizing data using SUMIF and other conditional functions
      5m 41s
    12. Creating formulas to count cells
      2m 37s
    13. Rounding cell values up and down
      4m 55s
    14. Finding data using VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP
      6m 33s
    15. Auditing formulas by identifying precedents and dependents
      3m 25s
    16. Managing Excel formula error indicators
      4m 42s
    17. Managing scenarios
      4m 59s
    18. Performing Goal Seek analysis
      2m 31s
  6. 45m 48s
    1. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      6m 7s
    2. Applying number and date formats to cells
      7m 1s
    3. Managing text alignment
      3m 56s
    4. Copying cell formats
      4m 2s
    5. Managing cell styles
      3m 16s
    6. Managing Office themes
      3m 31s
    7. Creating rule-based conditional formats
      3m 54s
    8. Defining Top 10 conditional formats
      4m 19s
    9. Defining data bar, color scale, and icon set conditional formats
      6m 6s
    10. Editing, ordering, and deleting conditional formats
      3m 36s
  7. 36m 55s
    1. Creating bar and column charts
      5m 26s
    2. Creating pie charts
      2m 32s
    3. Creating line charts
      4m 34s
    4. Creating XY (scatter) charts
      1m 49s
    5. Creating stock charts
      4m 11s
    6. Changing chart types and layouts
      2m 22s
    7. Changing the appearance of a chart
      4m 25s
    8. Managing chart axes and numbering
      2m 51s
    9. Adding trendlines to charts
      4m 14s
    10. Creating sparkline charts
      4m 31s
  8. 18m 39s
    1. Importing data from comma separated value (CSV) or text files
      4m 20s
    2. Connecting to an external data source
      2m 22s
    3. Using hyperlinks
      6m 1s
    4. Including an Excel workbook in another Office document
      3m 5s
    5. Linking to an Excel chart from another Office program
      2m 51s
  9. 26m 21s
    1. Creating and formatting shapes
      3m 10s
    2. Adding and adjusting images
      5m 38s
    3. Cropping, compressing, and removing image backgrounds
      4m 46s
    4. Creating SmartArt graphics
      5m 7s
    5. Creating WordArt
      2m 34s
    6. Aligning and layering objects
      5m 6s
  10. 29m 51s
    1. Introducing PivotTable reports
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a PivotTable report
      4m 37s
    3. Pivoting a PivotTable report
      3m 18s
    4. Managing subtotals and grand totals
      3m 23s
    5. Summarizing more than one data field
      1m 34s
    6. Changing the data field summary operation
      2m 40s
    7. Changing the data field number format
      2m 27s
    8. Filtering a PivotTable report
      2m 46s
    9. Applying a PivotTable style
      2m 20s
    10. Creating and editing styles
      2m 59s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Checking spelling
      3m 32s
    2. Setting AutoCorrect and automatic Replace options
      3m 59s
    3. Managing workbook comments
      3m 40s
    4. Tracking and reviewing changes
      5m 12s
    5. Printing a worksheet or workbook
      3m 44s
    6. Setting and removing print areas
      2m 31s
    7. Exporting to other formats
      1m 33s
    8. Protecting a workbook
      2m 36s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. Running an existing macro
      4m 56s
    2. Recording a macro
      3m 56s
    3. Recording a macro using relative references
      6m 15s
    4. Renaming, viewing, and deleting macros
      2m 58s
    5. Adding comments to a macro
      2m 43s
    6. Turning off screen updating in a macro
      3m 4s
  13. 1m 1s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 1s

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