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: Weird Mouse Shortcut.

Weird Mouse Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2016)

There's an interesting little shortcut you can use to navigate around your worksheet, if you like to use the mouse quite a bit. When you select a cell, Excel places a bold outline around that cell. If you double-click on one of the borders of the cell, Excel moves the cell selection in the direction indicated by the border you double-clicked.

That may sound confusing, but try this to get an idea of how this shortcut operates:

  1. Select a cell in the middle of a data table in a worksheet.
  2. Double-click the bottom border of the selected cell. (Don't double-click the fill handle; make sure you only double-click on the border.)

That's it. Did you notice that Excel selected the last cell in the column that has anything in it? The same thing happens if you click on the other sides of selection border: double-click the left side to jump left, the top side to jump up, and the right side to jump right.

You may be tempted to think that double-clicking the selection border is the same as holding down the Ctrl key as you press one of the directional arrows on the keyboard. If the cell you originally have selected is within a data table, then the two approaches (mouse and keyboard) do have the same effect. If the original cell is outside of a data table, however, then the effect is not the same.

For instance, select an unused cell to the right of your data table. There should be several empty columns between the cell you select and the edge of the data table. If you hold down the Ctrl key as you press the Left Arrow, then Excel selects the next cell in that row, to the left, that has something in it. In other words, it selects the cell that is at the right edge of your data table in that row.

If, instead, you double-click the left selection border for the cell, then the first occupied cell is not selected. Instead, Excel selects the cell just to the right of the first occupied cell. In other words, it selects the last empty cell before the edge of the data table in that row.

Spend some time playing around with this method of navigation. You may be surprised by how Excel moves the cell selection.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2453) 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: Weird Mouse Shortcut.

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

Adding Your Own Menu Items

Want to really make Excel reflect how you work? Why not make some changes to the menu structure so that the menus have your ...

Discover More

Shrinking Cell Contents

Need to cram a bunch of text all on a single line in a cell? You can do it with one of the lesser-known settings in Excel.

Discover More

Moving Through a Table in a Macro

Do you need to step through a table, cell by cell, in a macro? It's easy to do using the Move method, as described in this ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Selecting a Column

Two easy ways to select an entire column in Excel.

Discover More

Jumping to the Real Last Cell

Jumping to the last cell in a worksheet should be easy, but you may not always get the results that you expect. This tip ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Specific Worksheet

Want to make fast work of moving from one worksheet to another? Here's how to do the task when you have a lot of worksheets ...

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

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 2 + 1?

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
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.