Picking a Contiguous Range of Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 26, 2014)

There are many times when you are working with Excel when you need to select a range of cells. This is very easy to do using either the keyboard, the mouse, or a combination of both.

The first step in selecting a range of cells is to select the first cell in the range. With the cell selected you are ready to proceed.

  • Using the keyboard, you can hold down the Shift key as you use the navigation keys (up, down, left, and right arrows) to extend the range.
  • Using the mouse, you can click on the first cell and hold down the mouse button as you drag the mouse to extend the range.
  • Using the keyboard and mouse, you can hold down the Shift key as you click on the cell that defines the opposite corner of the range you want selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1966) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Keep Your Headings in View

Headings on a table are very important when it comes to understanding what is in the table. This tip explains an easy way ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Your Windows 7 Password

When you get rid of your Windows login password, you accomplish two things. First, you make it easier to log onto your ...

Discover More

Finding Missing Fonts

When you open documents that were created a long time ago on a system far, far away (sounds almost epic, doesn't it?), ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adjusting a Range's Starting Point

Select a range of cells, and one of those cells will always be the starting point for the range. This tip explains how to ...

Discover More

Deleting Everything Up to a Character Sequence

Sometimes you have too much information in a cell and you need to "pare down" what is there to get to the info you really ...

Discover More

Using Overtype Mode

Have you ever typed something in Excel, only to have it replace whatever is to the right of the insertion point? That's ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.