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: Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard.

Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 7, 2016)

Most people know that you can select a noncontiguous range of cells by using the mouse. All you need to do is click the first cell in the range and then hold down the Ctrl key as you click other cells in the range. (This is often referred to as creating a selection set of cells.)

Some folks don't like using the mouse that much. If you are in that camp, you may wonder if there is a way to select a noncontiguous range simply by using the keyboard. Fortunately there is, but very few folks know about it. Provided that you know the addresses of the cells you want in the range, follow these steps:

  1. Press F5. Excel displays the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  3. In the Reference box at the bottom of the dialog box, type the address of the first cell or range you want selected.
  4. Type a comma, followed by an additional range.
  5. Repeat step 3 for each additional cell or range you want in the selection set.
  6. Click OK (or press Enter). Excel selects all the cells and ranges you entered in the Reference box.

As an example, if you wanted your noncontiguous range to include cells A7, B2, F14 through G22, and T18, you would enter the following into the Reference box:

A7,B2,F14:G22,T18

Clicking OK then selects all these cells. In addition, the last cell that you entered is the "active cell" in the selected range.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2401) 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: Selecting Noncontiguous Ranges with the Keyboard.

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

Quickly Moving Text with the Mouse

Drag-and-drop editing is a handy feature when you love to use the mouse. There are two ways you can move text using the ...

Discover More

Changing Axis Tick Marks

Create a chart in Excel, and you may find that the tick marks shown on the axes in the chart aren't to your liking. It is ...

Discover More

The Last Business Day

Many businesses need to know when the last business day of the month occurs. This tip discusses several ways you can ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Library Not Registered Error

There are lots of error messages that can pop up in Excel from time to time. One of the most confusing may be the "library ...

Discover More

Finding the Number of Significant Digits

When looking at a number, you may wonder how many significant digits it contains. The answer is not always an easy one, ...

Discover More

Speeding Up Large Worksheets

If your worksheet gets large enough, you may notice a severe slowdown when it is recalculated. This tip provides some ...

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 8 - 1?

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


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
Share