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Moving Around The Worksheet Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorials
Excel 2010 - Getting Started

* Navigating Around A Worksheet
* Selection Methods
* The Go To Function

Excel worksheets can be quite big and contain multiple columns and rows of data. Knowing how to use the mouse, keyboard and Go To features as well as how to select columns, rows and multiple cells makes using Excel much easier and can save you a lot of time.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Moving Around The Worksheet Test




* Navigating Around A Worksheet

Navigating around a worksheet in Excel means methods of moving from cell to cell, to the end of a row, to the end of a column, to the beginning of a section and how to navigate to other worksheets in a workbook.

1. The most basic of the navigation tools in Excel is to use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move to the left, right, up or down in a worksheet. Holding down any of these direction keys will take you through multiple cells in the direction you wish to move.

2. You can use the scrolling wheel on your mouse to move upwards or downwards through a worksheet by clicking in any cell and then scrolling the mouse wheel up or down as needed.

3. A third method of navigation is to use the vertical and horizontal scrollbars (circled in blue in the image below) located on the right-hand and bottom right-hand sides of your worksheet, respectively. Using your mouse to move the centre bar in these scrollbars up/down and left/right will allow you to quickly move through the content on a worksheet. You can also click the arrows located on either end of each scrollbar to move through the worksheet:

Navigating around a worksheet in Excel Tutorial


4. To quickly jump to the last data-containing cell in your worksheet,
you use a keyboard shortcut. Hold down the Control key on your keyboard and then press the End key. The End key is usually located on the top right-hand corner of a standard keyboard.

5. To quickly jump to the first data-containing cell in your worksheet you can also use a keyboard shortcut. Hold down Control key on your keyboard and then press the Home key. The Home key is usually located in the top right-hand area of a standard keyboard, often located next to the Home key.

6. To navigate to the last data-containing row in your worksheet, hold down the Control key whilst pushing the down arrow. If you press the down arrow twice whilst holding down the Control key, this will take you to the last row on your worksheet (in case you have ever wondered what the last row reference in an Excel spreadsheet looks like!). You can move back to the first row by holding down the Control key and pressing the up arrow.

7. To navigate to the last data-containing column in your worksheet, you follow exactly the same procedure as described in 6 above, EXCEPT instead of pressing the down arrow, press the right arrow to navigate to the last data-containing column, pressing the right arrow twice to move to the last column in the worksheet.



8. To navigate through individual cells in a column, one by one, using the keyboard, press the Enter key to move down a column, cell by cell. To move upwards in a column, hold down the Shift key whilst pressing the Enter key.

9. To navigate through individual cells in a row, one by one, using the keyboard, press the Tab key to move to the right in a row, cell by cell. To move to the left, cell by cell, hold down the Shift key whilst pressing the Tab key.

10. To navigate to other worksheets contained in your workbook, click on the name of the worksheet you wish to view on the tab at the bottom left-hand corner of the worksheet window (circled in blue in the image below):
The Name of the Worksheet - Excel Tutorial

11. Some workbooks contain so many worksheets they may not all be visible on the worksheet tab bar pictured above. To navigate through all the available worksheets in a workbook press the navigation arrows to the left-hand side of the worksheet tabs (circled in blue in the image below):

Navigation arrows to the left-hand side of the worksheet tabs  - Excel Tutorial

12. The icon on the far left and far right (in the blue circled area) will scroll the list of worksheet tabs to display the tab of the first worksheet in the list and the last worksheet, respectively. The two icons in the middle will move the worksheet display one worksheet at a time through the visible selection of available worksheet tabs.


* Selection Methods

It is important to be able to select multiple adjacent and non-adjacent cells, rows and columns. It is also possible to select an entire worksheet or only the populated area of a worksheet. Memorising how to complete these actions could save you a lot of time, especially when it comes to formatting a worksheet.

1. To select a group of adjacent cells, hold down your left mouse button whilst dragging through the group of cells you wish to select. Another way to do this, depending on your preferences, is to click in the first cell in your selection and then use your keyboard to select the group of cells. You do this by holding down the Shift key whilst pressing the down, up, left or right arrows to highlight the group of cells you wish to select.

2. To select a group of non-adjacent cells, for example if you wish to select only specific cells to format, hold down the Control key on your keyboard whilst using your mouse to click in the cells you wish to add to the selection. See example below of what this looks like (the blue shaded cells are cells that are included in the selection):

How to select a group of non-adjacent cells - Excel Tutorial

3. To select the contents of a single row, click on the row label of the row you wish to select. A row label is the numbers that appear on the left-hand side of each row in Excel.

4. To select multiple adjacent rows, click on the first row in your selection and then hold down the right mouse button whilst dragging downwards or upwards to select multiple rows. See example below of how this will look:

How to select multiple adjacent rows - Excel Tutorial


5. To select multiple non-adjacent rows,
hold down the Control key on your keyboard whilst selecting the rows you wish to add to the selection. See example below of how this will look (the blue shaded rows are all selected rows that are part of the selection):

How to select multiple non-adjacent rows - Excel Tutorial


6. To select an entire column,
use your mouse to click on the column label of the column you wish to select. A column label is the letters A onwards that appear at the top of each column in Excel.

7. To select multiple adjacent columns, with your mouse click and hold down the left mouse button whilst dragging the selection area to the left or right to include columns. Below is an example of what this will look like:

How to select multiple adjacent columns - Excel Tutorial

8. To select multiple non-adjacent columns, hold down the Control key on your keyboard whilst clicking on the column labels of all the columns you wish to add to your selection. Below is an example of what this will look like (the blue shaded columns are all part of the selection):

How to select multiple non-adjacent columns - Excel Tutorial


9. To select an entire section of data in your worksheet, select the first populated cell and then using your keyboard, hold down the Control and Shift keys and press the End key. If you select the last populated cell in your worksheet and hold down the Control and Shift keys and press the Home key, this will achieve the same result (selecting all the cells in the section). If you select a single cell in the selected section of data and hold down the Control key whilst pressing the A key, the section will also be selected.

10. Experiment with holding down the Control and Shift keys and pressing the down, up, left and right arrows to select sections of the worksheet.

11. We've kept the coolest selection function for last! To select a whole worksheet (populated cells as well as empty cells), press the Select All button (circled in blue in the image below) in the top left-hand corner of the worksheet:

How to select a whole worksheet - Excel Tutorial

This will highlight your entire worksheet and you will be able to apply formatting or other changes universally. You can also hold down the Control key and press the A key twice in succession to select the whole Worksheet.


* The Go To Function

If you have a really large worksheet containing multiple columns of data or a worksheet with many elements, the Go To function can really save you time and frustration. It offers a dialogue box containing a list of all the named cell selections contained in your worksheet. You can also use it to select a group of specific elements contained in your worksheet or simply to go to a specific cell.

1. To access the Go To function (circled in blue in the image below), in the Editing group under the Home tab click on the Find & Select button and then click on Go To:
How to access the Go To function Excel Tutorial

You can also launch the Go To dialogue box directly by holding down the Control key on your keyboard whilst pressing the G key.

2. In the Go To dialogue box, select the name that represents the section of named cell references you wish to select or navigate to.

3. If you wish to go to a specific cell reference, for example A5, type this reference into the Reference box and press OK. Recent cell references used in the Go To box will remain available to use repeatedly until you close the worksheet:
How to go to a specific cell reference - Excel Tutorial


4. If you click on the Special button
(located below the Reference box in the Go To dialogue box), Excel offers you a range of other elements you may need to quickly select or navigate to:

Tthe Special button - Excel Tutorial

5. Useful Go To options: if you click the radio button next to 'Formulas' in the Go To dialogue box, all the formulas located in your worksheet will be selected (highlighted). If you select 'Current Region', all the cells containing data in a section will be selected and 'Blanks' will select all the blank cells in-between populated cells.

As you complete more lessons in Excel, the Go To function will become your best friend as it allows you to quickly navigate and select those elements in your worksheet.

Now you have done the tutorial:

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Moving Around The Worksheet Test