What Is the Definition of Cell in Excel

Any Excel worksheet/spreadsheet consists of columns and rows. The intersection of columns and rows is known as cells in Excel. Generally, columns are expressed with alphabets and rows are in numbers. As a cell is the combination of column and row, so it is alpha-numeric. In this article, we will discuss the definition and other attributes of a cell in detail.

Definition of Cell in Excel

The cell is the smallest unit of an Excel sheet. When we write anything or insert any data in an Excel sheet, we do it in a Cell. A cell is the intersection point of a column and a row. A cell is named by combining the column and row intersecting each other. Columns are alphabetic and rows are numeric. So, a cell is specified as an alphanumeric value. Like, B4. Here, B is the column, and 4 is the row.

Identifying a cell in Excel

We can see the Cell name in the Name Box. When we place the cursor in any of the cells and look at the Name Box, we can see the cell name there.

What Is Active Cell in Excel?

The active cell is the currently selected cell in Excel. An active cell is a single cell of the dataset. At a time, only one cell is called an active cell. We enter new data in the active cell.

When you open an Excel spreadsheet, you will find one cell is selected with darker borders. This is the active cell. If you have created the spreadsheet just now, the active cell will be A1 by default. If you have opened an existing spreadsheet, the active cell will be the last cell you selected before saving and closing the spreadsheet.

Default active cell of Excel sheet

Active cell means that it is active now if you enter something from your keyboard, it will accept the input. If there were something in the active cell, it will be deleted if you enter something this way. To edit the active cell, you have three options. One is to double-click your mouse on the active cell. Secondly, press Spacebar. Lastly, click on the F2 button.

Row and column headings of the active cell appear in different colors to make it easier to identify the row and column of the active cell.

After inserting any value in the active cell, must press the Enter button to fix that value on the active cell.

Number of Cells in Different Excel Versions

As the cell is the intersecting point of column and row, so the number of cells of an Excel sheet depends on the number of columns and rows. Columns are alphabetic and labeled from A to XFD and rows range from number 1 to 1,048,576. Columns are labeled like this: After column Z comes column AA, then AB, AC, and so on. After column AZ comes to BA, then BB, BC, BD, and so on. After column ZZ is AAA, then AAB, and so on. So, the total number of columns and rows are 16,384 and 1,048,576 respectively. Finally, the total number of cells is 17,179,869,184. In short, we can say that is around 17 billion. This is for Excel 2007 to 365 version. In the older total number of cells was 16,777,216.

Number of cells, columns and rows in excel

What Is Cell Address or Reference in Excel?

Cell address or reference is the identity of a Cell. This is the representation of a cell, which is an alphanumeric value. We can get the cell address or reference in two different ways.

One of them is to get a cell address from the Name Box.

Another one is to use the cell as a reference to any other cell. We can get the cell reference from the formula bar or the referred cell.

Cell address or reference in Excel

Keyboard Shortcuts to Navigate Excel Cells

Go to the Last Cell of the Excel Sheet:

Follow this command: End ⇒ Down Arrow(↓)

This is the last row. Now, find the last column with this command: End ⇒ Right Arrow(→).

Last cell of Excel sheet

Finally, you will reach the last cell of your worksheet.

Make a Cell Editable:

F2 or Spacebar>> Convert a Cell editable mode.

Make a cell editable

Go to the Desired Cell:

F5 >> Use to go to the desired cell.

Other Shortcuts:

Tab >> This button moves the cursor to the right side.

Shift + Tab >> This button moves the cursor to the left side.

Home >> Moves to the first cell of a row.

Ctrl + Home >> Go to the first cell of the Excel sheet.


In this article, we described all details of a Cell with definition in Excel. We discussed different attributes and other shortcuts that are related to cells and will be helpful for the users. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website Exceldemy.com and give your suggestions in the comment box.

Further Readings




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