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Navigating Excel Workbooks & Excel Sheets Tutorial
Excel 2016 Tutorial - Learn Excel Basics

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorials

* Moving around rows and columns
* Selecting cell ranges
* Moving between worksheets
* Go to specific Excel cells
* Excel Find Function find numbers or words

Navigating around an Excel worksheet is a skill worth developing. Workbooks can contain data that runs over multiple rows, columns and worksheets and finding what you are looking for can be daunting. Knowing how to select cell ranges, quickly move to the beginning or end of a section of data or using Go To and Find to navigate to specific data sets, makes this easy!

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Navigating Excel Workbooks & Excel Sheets - 2016 Excel Basics Test



* Moving around Rows and Columns - Excel 2016

An Excel spreadsheet is made up of rows and columns forming a grid. You can select an entire row or column with one mouse click, move to the end of a column or row, and select multiple rows and columns at the same time.

To select an entire row in Excel, left-click on the row label of the row you wish to select. In the example in the screenshot below, row 3 (outlined in orange) has been clicked to select the row.  You can tell that the row is selected by the grey shading and the green Excel border and row label.

 Moving around rows and columns Excel 2016 Tutorial

To select multiple rows in an Excel spreadsheet at the same time, click the row label for the first row, then hold down the left-mouse key and drag the mouse cursor to select rows above or below the row you have already selected.

To select multiple random rows in Excel 2016, for example, if you want to select row 3, 7 and 9: hold down the control key on your keyboard and click the row label for each row you wish to select.

To move to the end or beginning of the data in an Excel row, click in a cell within the row, hold down the Control key and use the right arrow key on your keyboard to navigate to the end, and the left arrow key to navigate to the start of the row.

In Excel, to quickly select an entire column, left-click on the column label of the column you wish to select. In the example in the screenshot below, column E (outlined in orange) has been clicked to select the column.  You can tell that the column is selected by the grey shading and the green Excel border and column label.

Moving around rows and columns Excel 2016 Tutorial

To select multiple columns in an Excel worksheet at the same time, click the column label for the first column, then hold down the left-mouse key and drag the mouse cursor to select columns to the left or right of the column you have already selected.

To select multiple random columns in Excel 2016, where the columns are not together, for example, if you want to select column C, E and G: hold down the control key on your keyboard and click the column label for each column you wish to select.

To move to the end or beginning of the text or numbers in a column in Excel, click in a cell within the column, hold down the Control key and use the down arrow key on your keyboard to navigate to the end, and the up arrow key to navigate to the start of the column.



* Selecting Cell Ranges

The Excel screen is made up of a grid containing thousands of individual cells. Each cell falls within a different row-column location.  Groups of cells in a spreadsheet are called cell ranges.  In the screenshot below, a selected cell range has been outlined in orange:

Selecting cell ranges -  Excel 2016 Tutorial

To select a range of cells that are located next to each other, left click within one of the corner cells in the range you wish to select, for example, cell D4 in the screenshot above. Next, hold down the left-mouse button and drag down and to the right or to the left to select the cells below and to the right or left of cell D4.  

To select random cells which are not located next to each other, hold down the control key and then use the mouse to left click each cell you wish to select.





* Moving between Worksheets

An Excel workbook can hold anything from one to thousands of worksheets or spreadsheets.  Each worksheet can be named and even color coded to make storing and recalling information easy. 

To view the worksheets available in the workbook you have open, have a look at the bottom left-hand corner of the Excel screen. Study the Excel worksheet example in the screenshot below, paying attention to the numbered areas outlined in orange:  

Moving between worksheets  -  Excel 2016 Tutorial

1. The area numbered 1, has the worksheet navigation buttons.  You use these to scroll through all the available worksheets in an Excel workbook. If all the worksheets in the workbook are visible (as is the case in the example above), the worksheet navigation buttons will be greyed out.

2.  The area numbered 2, contains the worksheet tabs for all the worksheets in this workbook. Some worksheets have been named (Students, Product List, Service Quote), whilst one has the default Excel worksheet naming convention (Sheet3).

3.  The active worksheet has been numbered 3 in the screenshot above. You can tell the active worksheet apart from the others by its tab, which will appear highlighted with Excel’s trademark green used in the tab font and border.

To select or navigate to a worksheet, left-click on the worksheet tab.

To select multiple worksheets, hold down the Control button on your keyboard and left-click each worksheet tab to select.





* Go to specific Excel Cells

Imagine you are looking for very specific type of cell value or content within a worksheet. One way would be to scroll through all the cells to find and select the cell containing what you are looking for, which is fine if your worksheet only contains a couple of rows and columns. However, if a worksheet contains a huge amount of data, it may take up a lot of time to identify, for example, cells that contain formulas.

The Go To and Go To Special functions in Excel can help you navigate to a specific dataset or type quickly.

Open an Excel 2016 workbook and click anywhere within the workbook.

Study the screenshot below, paying attention to the numbered areas outlined in orange:


Go to specific Excel cells  -  Excel 2016 Tutorial


Under the Home tab in the Editing group on the Ribbon:

1. Click on Find and Select (1); and

2. Click on either Go To or Go To Special (2) in the menu to launch the respective Go To dialog boxes.

Depending on where in the worksheet you wish to navigate to, select either Go To or Go To Special:

Go to specific Excel cells  -  Excel 2016 Tutorial


In the Excel Go To dialog box (1), click in the Reference box (2).  Type the cell location you wish to go to, for example cell G:25, and press OK.  The Excel selection point in the screen will move to this cell.

In the Excel Go To Special dialog box (3) you can select any of the numerous options to navigate to very specific content types, for example, formulas. All the cells containing formulas in the worksheet, will be selected.

TIP: The quickest way to launch the Go To dialog box, is to use the shortcut key combination: Control + G on your keyboard.  Hold down the Ctrl key and press G to instantly launch the Excel Go To function.




* Excel Find Function - Find numbers or words

The Find function in Excel works similarly to the Go To function, but instead of cells and content types, it allows you to find specific numbers, words, dates or other data types, typically found in a worksheet. 

To use the Find function, open an Excel workbook that contains data that you are familiar with, or use the worksheet we’ve created especially for you, which you can download here.

Under the Home tab in the Editing group, click on Find & Select and then on Find in the menu list.  This will launch the Find and Replace dialog box:

 Excel Find Function - Find numbers or words  -  Excel 2016 Tutorial

In the Find What box (outlined in orange in the screenshot above) type a word or number that you know is in the worksheet.  If you are using our example worksheet, type Oil into the Find What box.  Press Find All or Find Next to execute your search.

TIP: The quickest way to launch the Find and Replace dialog box, is to use the shortcut key combination: Control + F on your keyboard.  Hold down the Ctrl key and press F to instantly launch the Excel Find and Replace option.


Now you have done the tutorial:

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Navigating Excel Workbooks & Excel Sheets - 2016 Excel Basics Test