Select cell contents in Excel

You can select cell contents of one or more cells, rows and columns, in Excel.

Applies to: Excel for Office 365, Excel for Office 365 for Mac, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel Starter 2010.

Select cell contents in Excel - YouTube

Note: If a worksheet has been protected, you might not be able to select cell contents either alone or both on a worksheet.

Select one or more cells

  1. First, select a cell to choose it. Or use the keyboard to reach the cell you want and click it.
  1. Secondly, to confirm a range, choose a cell, then with the left mouse button pressed, drag over the other cells. Or use the Shift + arrow keys to highlight the range.
  1. Thirdly, to choose non-adjacent cells and cell ranges, hold Ctrl and pick the cells.

Tip #1 – Choosing cells that only contain Text in Excel

You can use either the Go-To option or Conditional Formatting in Excel to pick cells that solely have text.

Go-To Special (Shortcut F5 and Ctrl+G): This option allows you to rapidly switch to various cells in Excel.

Command button: Find Home > press Find & Select > choose Go-To Special.

Select one or more rows and columns

  1. Firstly, select the letter at the top to select the entire column. Or click on any cell in the column and then press Ctrl + Space.
  1. Next, select the row number to select the entire row. Or click on any cell in the row and then press Shift + Space.
  1. Finally, to select non-adjacent rows or columns, hold Ctrl and select the row or column numbers.

Select table, list or worksheet

  1. Firstly, to select a list or table, select a cell in the list or table and press Ctrl + A.
  1. Secondly, 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. Moreover, to find tips on how to resolve this issue, see this post How do I stop Excel from highlighting two cells at once? in the community.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

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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