We shall discuss here the various ways and keyboard shortcuts to move the cells in an Excel Spreadsheet.
Every Excel worksheet/spreadsheet consists of columns and rows. Columns are 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. There are keyboard shortcuts to move around rows, columns, and cells.
Table of Contents
Know about cell before knowing keyboard shortcuts for moving it around Excel Spreadsheet
The intersection of a row and a column is a single cell. Each cell has a unique address made up of its column letter and row number. For example, the address of the first cell is A1. Remember column letter will come first and row number will be placed second in a cell’s address. An Excel 2013 spreadsheet is made up of more than 17 billion cells. The address of the last cell in an excel spreadsheet is XFD1048576.
Commands to find the last cell
Find the last row with this command: End →Down Arrow(↓), then find the last column with this command: End →Right Arrow(→), you will reach the last 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, active cell will be A1 by default. If you have opened an existing spreadsheet, active cell will be the last cell you selected before saving and closing the spreadsheet.
Active cell means that it is active now if you enter something from your keyboard, it will accept. If there were something in the active cell, it will be deleted if you enter something this way.
Row and column headings of the active cell appear in a different color to make it easier to identify the row and column of the active cell.
Moving around Excel Spreadsheet with your keyboard
We shall use the standard navigational keys on our keyboard to move around a worksheet. The down arrow key moves the active cell down one row, the up arrow key moves the active cell one row, the right arrow moves the active cell one column to the right, and so on. Pg Up and Pg Dn move the active cell up or down one full window.
Tip: If you turn on Scroll Lock key in your keyboard and scroll through the worksheet, then the position of the active cell will not be changed. If your keyboard does not show any Scroll Lock key, then go to start menu, then Accessories, then choose Ease of Access, then click to select On-screen keyboard and select ScrLk key in the keyboard. When Scroll Lock is turned on, Excel displays Scroll Lock in the status bar at the bottom of the window.
If your Num Lock is on, the navigation keys(arrows) on your numeric keypad generate numbers. When the Num Lock is off, then the navigation keys on numeric keypad behaves like navigation keys. Many keyboards have a separate set of navigation (arrow) keys located to the left of the numeric keypad. These navigation keys’ functionality does not depend on Num Lock key’s state(whether it is on or off.)
TABLE: Worksheet’s Active Cell Movement Keys
|Key||Active Cell Movement|
|Up Arrow(↑)||Moves the active cell up by one row|
|Down Arrow(↓)||Moves the active cell down by one row|
|Left arrow(←) or Shift+Tab||Moves the active cell one column to the left|
|Right arrow(→) or Tab||Moves the active cell one column to the right|
|PgUp||Moves the active cell up by one screen|
|PgDn||Moves the active cell down by one screen|
|Alt+PgUp||Moves the active cell left by one screen|
|Alt+PgDn||Moves the active cell right by one screen|
|Ctrl+Backspace||Scrolls the screen so that the active cell is visible|
|↑*||Scrolls the screen up by one row (active cell position is not changed)|
|↓*||Scrolls the screen down one row (active cell position is not changed)|
|←*||Scrolls the screen left one column (active cell position is not changed)|
|→*||Scrolls the screen right one column (active cell position is not changed)|
*With Scroll Lock on
If you want to change the active cell by using your mouse, just click another cell, and it becomes now the active cell. If your desired cell isn’t visible in the excel spreadsheet window, you can use the scrollbars to scroll the window in any direction to reach your desired cell. To scroll one cell, click either of the arrows on the scrollbar. To scroll by a complete screen, click either side of the scrollbar’s scroll box(remember, it is not the arrow of the scrollbar, it is scroll box). You can also drag the scroll box for faster scrolling.
If you want to zoom in or zoom out the spreadsheet, press CTRL and move the mouse wheel up or down. If you want to zoom in or out the spreadsheet without pressing CTRL, go File⇒ Options in your worksheet and then select ‘Advanced’ section. Place a right click next to the ‘Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse’ checkbox.
If you use the scrollbars to scroll or you scroll with the mouse in the worksheet, the active cell doesn’t change. It simply scrolls the worksheet. Click a new cell after scrolling if you want to change the active cell.