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: Creating Selections.

Creating Selections

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 26, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Having survived the DOS era I find myself reluctant to give up keyboarding, and one of my favorite keyboard functions in Excel is the F8 Extend key.

By moving the cell pointer to the starting cell, you can press F8 to enable Extend (indicated on the status bar by the letters EXT or Extend Selection). Using the mouse, you can click on the final cell of a contiguous range to extend the selection highlight. All keyboard cursor keys can also be used to extend the selection.

For extremely large ranges you can do the following:

  1. Move the cell pointer to the starting cell.
  2. Press F8 to activate extend.
  3. Press F5 to activate Go To. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  5. Enter the ending cell address.
  6. Press Enter or click OK to extend the selection.

For non-contiguous ranges the key combination of Shift+F8 turns on Add. Using the mouse you can click and drag each required block of ranges.

To cancel either Extend or Add press the Esc key or press F8 or Shift+F8 again.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2099) 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: Creating Selections.

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. ...

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