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In Excel, the general rule about using commands is that we select areas that we want to change in our worksheet or workbook and then we use the command. Selection occurs before. Many times we select data by using the mouse. We click and drag. But you can also use the keyboard for certain kinds of shortcuts. Maybe the active cell is here and you want to format all those phone numbers. We could easily click the column. That's probably the best way, but at other times Ctrl+Spacebar selects the current column. And depending upon where the data resides and where the active cell is, there might be other times when you want to select the current row, Shift+Spacebar.
At other times though, we want to select the actual data. Suppose we want to copy all the names in this list, about 700. We don't want to copy A1. We just want to take the data from here downward. Strictly from the keyboard, after selecting cell A2, hold down the Shift key and then Ctrl+Down Arrow highlights all the data at once. From the keyboard, active cells at A2, hold down Shift. This time double-click the bottom edge. The analogy here could be we select cells by using the Shift key and then using the keys that we use to move around our worksheet.
So you may recall that quick way to move down the column is to press Ctrl+Down Arrow. But if we're holding down Shift and we press Ctrl+Down Arrow, we highlight all of the data. Or if we hold down Shift and then double-click the bottom edge. It highlights the data. This works in all four directions too. I want to highlight all of the data from here, rightwards there in this case right here. Hold down the Shift key, double-click the right edge or press Ctrl+Right Arrow. Either one, so quick ways to select data. Sometimes you want to select the entire worksheet.
Click in the upper-left corner. The entire worksheet. Now possibly for what reason? Well for formatting, for deleting the data, any number of different uses for selecting the entire worksheet. There's also a keystroke shortcut associated with this, but it might throw you a little bit because it used to have different meaning. Many times when you want to highlight all the data, you press Ctrl+A. Now you'll notice here that this didn't highlight all the data. It didn't highlight the data out there in column O or any of data to the right. But if I happened to click out here somewhere, I'm going to press Ctrl+A.
What happens is this. So it's a little bit odd when you click in a cell that doesn't have any data around and you press Ctrl+A, it does select the entire worksheet. If you click within data and press Ctrl+A, it's only likely to highlight the contiguous data. But if you press Ctrl+A again, then it's probably going to highlighting all of the data. If you work inside of a table, so I'm going to take this data here and convert it into a table quickly by way of Ctrl+T or Ctrl+L, either way. Ctrl+T turn this into a table, click OK.
What if we click on one of the cells now and press Ctrl+A? It highlights all of the data in the table except for the title row. Click Ctrl+A again and it picks up the title row. And although we can't quite see it here, is it highlighting all the other data to the right? No it isn't. A third Ctrl+A will then include the entire worksheet. So different techniques here for highlighting different portions of the worksheet, different parts of the table or different parts of the column or parts of the row or the entire column or entire row.
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