Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
your spreadsheet using the keyboard and mouse is fairly intuitive and very easy, although there are some shortcut keys that'll make it even easier. You saw me in a previous lesson jump from screen to screen to screen, to show you the size and the breadth of a spreadsheet. Let me show you how to do that. The first and most obvious way of moving your active cell, and that's what this area is referred to, this bold highlighted cell and more importantly the cell that's named here is your active cell. You can only have one active cell, or an active range, which we'll talk about in a moment. The most obvious way of moving that active cell would be to click on a different cell. Now D5 is active or B12. Another way that you can move your active cell is to use your arrow keys on the keyboard. So if I press Up, I move to B11. Up, up, up, and move to B8. I can move left and right, down. That's your four arrow keys. I can also use the Page Up and Page Down key. If I use Page Down right now, I'll move down a complete page from where I am. Again I tap Page Down and move down another page from where I am. So it's moving a page at a time. As I said before that's approximately 36 rows at a time based on my current display. If I use the Alt button that will move me to the right. That's how I was able to go from A to L, M to X, and continue Y to AJ. You notice when it runs out of letters in the alphabet, it simply doubles up. So once it goes A through Z, you'll see AA, AB, AC. If I continue to move to the right, BI, BJ, BK and so on as it uses up the letters of the alphabet to a maximum of 256, which is IV. If I want to return to A1, I can get there at any time by using the Control+Home feature and if you activate the scroll lock key, now I have to admit to you, this is one of the first times I've truly had a use for the scroll lock key. If I tap the scroll lock key, I can use the arrow keys to move my position without moving my active cell. You notice that the A1 up here in the Name Box is still indicating that my active cell is cell A1. I could also go down a ways if I wish. So I'm moving my view without moving the active cell. To return to your active cell at any time regardless of where it is, you can use the Control+Backspace key.
Control+Backspace will display the active cell or active range, and that active range might be down in the thousands and over to DA, and you might want to look at A1, so you can use your Control+ Home function to get back there, and then when you want to return to your active space, you can use the Control+Backspace to do that. That's a quick look at the keys and the tools that you use to navigate around your worksheet. Let's talk about selecting ranges. To do this I'm going to have you open a file and you'll find in your students folders, go to File > Open, and on my Desktop, I've copied the Student Files from the CD to my Desktop. You may be able to do the same and in 01 Getting Started, I've got a file called Quarterly_Sales. When we open up Quarterly_Sales, it's a very, very simple spreadsheet. You notice that the task pane disappeared when I opened the spreadsheet. The task pane isn't there to get in your way. It's there to help you. If it was closed when this file was created, it'll close when this file opens, and often if you're not using the task pane, it'll simply close to give you more screen real estate. Very handy little feature. So here we are with a very, very simple spreadsheet that describes some very common data. We have four divisions and four quarters and some numbers that may represent financials. We don't know yet. If I want to select information in the spreadsheet, I can do that by simply clicking on a cell and there you can see in the Formula bar that the value in the cell is 22190. I can use the arrow keys to change cells. Sorry I still have my scroll lock on. There we go. I'm moving my active cell to a different cell now. Or I can select a number of cells by clicking and dragging. This selection is called a Range. I've now selected a range of cells. I can still only have one active cell and that is C2, denoted by the light color as well as the C2 in the Name Box. But this is now my range of cells and if I start applying any formatting or making any changes to the font or if I simply want to do some drastic numerical changes right across the board, I can do that with this selected range. This is called a contiguous selection, meaning that all the cells were side by each and I could do it with a single click and drag. If I wanted select a range of cells that were noncontiguous, for example I can go here to B2, click and drag down to B5. I can use the Control key and then click and drag D2 through D5, and I've now selected two separate ranges of cells that I can manipulate. That is a noncontiguous selection and according to Windows standards it's simply holding down the Control key to do that. The Control key will allow me to select ranges that, single cells. I can even select cells on another spreadsheet. I don't have anything on Sheet 2 right now, but if I click that tab it opens up a completely new spreadsheet, and I can hold down the Control key and I can select more cells here. You'll note also that I've selected A1 because it was the currently active cell when I held down the Control key it added that my selection. If I go back to Sheet 1, I've got all those cells selected. Sheet 2, I've got those cells selected and unfortunately it keeps your selections separate from sheet to sheet, so it's really not important for me to have the Control key held down on Sheet 2 until I start making a noncontiguous selection, and another drawback of making selections in Microsoft Excel is that you can't deselect anything without canceling your entire selection. For example Windows conventions dictate that I could hold the Control key down and simply click on A1 to eliminate that from my selection, and although his white right now, if I click away from it, you can see that it's still selected. So the only way for me to remove my selection is to click somewhere else without holding down any keys. Now I've got a single cell selected again, but my selections or deselections on Sheet 2 hasn't affected Sheet 1 at all. So making a multi-sheet selection is very easy. The other way to select data is to use the Edit > Go To box and you can put in a specific cell reference like you would in the Name Box, or you can click on the Special button, and when you do you'll see that you can go to or select certain types of data. For example, we can select all of the comments within our file, and we haven't talked about comments yet, so just trust me and hold on to that thought. Constants, these are particular types of values within a formula. We could select certain types of Formulas: Number Formulas or Text Formulas. We'll talk with those in a future lesson as well. We could select the blank spaces that are contained within our sheets or list. And a number of other things that will become apparent and useful as we move forward and learn more about Microsoft Excel.
Well that's a quick look at navigating a spreadsheet, moving around using your keys, your mouse, and some special menu features. Hopefully that'll be exceptionally useful later once you're a pro.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 69935 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 127357 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 62329 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 48024 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.