Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Picking a Group of Cells.

Picking a Group of Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 29, 2016)

2

Excel allows you to define a group of cells in preparation for doing an action, such as formatting the cells. This is different than picking a range of cells, however. A range of cells is contiguous in nature—every cell between a starting and ending point is selected. A group of cells does not need to be contiguous. Instead, they can be anywhere on the worksheet.

In some Microsoft documentation, a group of cells is called a selection set. To put together your own group of cells, you need to use the mouse. Click on the first cell in the group. As you click on each subsequent cell in the group, simply hold down the Ctrl key. Each cell you click on is added to the group. If you click on a cell a second time (with the Ctrl key pressed), the cell is removed from the group. If you click on any cell without holding down the Ctrl key, that cell is selected and the selection set is gone.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1967) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Picking a Group of Cells.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using the Mouse to Adjust Your View of 3-D Graphs

Want to adjust the perspective from which your 3-D graph is viewed? Excel allows you to use the mouse to rotate the graph in ...

Discover More

Spreading Out a Table

If someone sends you a worksheet that has lots of data in it, you might want to "spread out" the data so you can have some ...

Discover More

Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row

Need to conditionally highlight an entire row based on the contents of a single cell in each row? This tip explains how you ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Editing Individual Cells

Need to edit the data within a cell? There are any number of ways you can perform the edit; this tip documents them all.

Discover More

Concatenating Ranges of Cells

Putting the contents of two cells together is easy. Putting together the contents of lots of cells is more involved, as ...

Discover More

Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells

If you lose your place on the screen quite often, you might find it helpful to have not just a single cell highlighted, but ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

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. 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 three minus 1?

2017-04-26 05:36:40

Alan Elston

Nice Tip. I have done this in VBA but not in a spreadsheet.

An interesting use of this :- for cells in the same row or rows, or in the same column or columns -
You can copy ( Ctrl+c) the multicell sel ection .
If you then paste ( Ctrl+v ), the output is compressed.

So it is a nice way, for example, to go down a long list sel ecting the cells with information you want. Copy the multicell sel ection, then paste that sel ection and you get a list just of the cells you sel ected. This is a neat trick in VBA, but possibly someone could use it to good effect manually to quickly compile a short list from a larger list
Alan


2017-03-24 12:01:03

Willy Vanhaelen

" If you click on a cell a second time (with the Ctrl key pressed), the cell is removed from the group." doesn't work in Excel.

If you want to do this you can use a macro as in https://excelribbon.tips.net/T012457_Removing_Cells_from_a_Selected_Range.html

or

https://excel.tips.net/T003102_Removing_Cells_from_a_Selected_Range


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
Subscribe

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.

Links and Sharing