The Cursor in Excel – All You Need to Know

This is a sample dataset.

cursor in excel

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Different Types of Cursors and Their Functions

  • Use the Select Mode to select cells by clicking and dragging.

select mode cursor in Excel

  • To fill data or expand a data series, move your mouse over the little square in the right corner of the cell and use the AutoFill cursor.

AutoFill cursor

  • To move selected cells, use the Click and Drag cursor.

click and drag cursor excel

  • To copy selected data, hold CTRL and move your mouse to the edge of a cell or group of cells and use the Copy Cells cursor.

copy cells cursor in Excel

  • To enter data or edit existing values, double-click any cell and use the I-Beam Cursor.

I beam cursor

  • To select a menu on the Ribbon, use the Mouse Pointer cursor.

mouse pointer cursor in Excel

  • To select an entire row/column, place the cursor on the row or column number.

select entire row or column cursor

  • Move the mouse to the column or row borders to use the Resizer cursor.

row or column resizer cursor

How to Change Cursor Movement Direction in Excel

By default, the cursor moves vertically downward while pressing ENTER . If you press SHIFT + ENTER the selection will go one cell upward. Default direction can be changed, though.

  • Go to the File tab and click Options.

Options menu in File tab

  • In the Excel Options dialog box, choose Editing options and click Direction.
  • Choose a direction for the cursor. The cursor will move in this direction when ENTER is pressed.
  • Click OK.

changing direction of cursor movement in Excel

  • To keep the cursor on the same cell after pressing ENTER, uncheck After pressing ENTER, move selection and click OK.

unchecking tick box to disable movement

How to Move the Cursor using Shortcuts in Excel

  • Double-click the cell to open the editing mode. Press and hold CTRL and press Right Arrow to move the cursor one word forward.

press and hold CTRL key to forward one word

This is the output.

output image

How to Change the Cursor from a Plus to an Arrow in Excel

You can change the cursor from a plus to an arrow in Excel with the help of a VBA code.

  • Right-click the sheet name and select View Code.

right click on sheet name

  • Enter the following code.
Sub PlusToCursor()
Application.Cursor = xlNorthwestArrow
End Sub
  • Run the code by clicking the green play button or F5.

executing VBA code to change cursor from plus to arrow

The cursor becomes an arrow.

cursor changed from plus to arrow

How to Change the Cursor Color in Excel

  • Double-click the sheet name to insert a code module.

double click on the sheet name to insert module

  • Select Worksheet.

embedding code for worksheet

  • Now, enter the following code.
Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
Cells.Borders.ColorIndex = xlNone
Target.Borders.Color = vbRed
End Sub

VBA code to change cursor color in Excel

  • Borders were removed.

dataset without border

  • Select the B4:F12 range and red Borders will automatically be applied.

selection region with border

Read More: Excel Cursor Movement: Logical vs Visual

How to Highlight with the Cursor in Excel

  • Enter following code.
Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Worksheets("Highlight with Cursor").Cells(14, 3) = Target.Row
Worksheets("Highlight with Cursor").Cells(15, 3) = Target.Column
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

VBA code to highlight with cursor in Excel

  • Go to the Home tab >> Conditional Formatting >> New Rule.

clicking on New Rule on Conditional Formatting

In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, choose Select a Rule Type.

  • Click Use a formula to determine which cells to format.
  • Enter this formula in Format values where this formula is true.
=OR(ROW()=$C$14, COLUMN()=$C$15)
  • Select a fill color and click OK.

inserting formula in new rule dialog box

By selecting any cell, the associated row and column will be highlighted.

row and column get highlighted in Excel

Read More: How to Highlight with Cursor in Excel

How to Fix it When the Cursor Is Not Showing in Excel

  • Open Excel Options.
  • Go to the Advanced tab and check Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop. Click OK.

checking option in Advanced tab in Excel options

Read More: [Fixed!]: Excel Cursor Not Showing

Cursor in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Shahriar Abrar Rafid
Shahriar Abrar Rafid

Shahriar Abrar Rafid, BSc, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, has worked with the ExcelDemy project for more than 1 year. He has written over 100+ articles for ExcelDemy. He is a professional visual content developer adept at crafting scripts, meticulously editing Excel files, and delivering insightful video tutorials for YouTube channels. His work and learning interests vary from Microsoft Office Suites and Excel to Data Analysis, VBA, and Video recording and... Read Full Bio

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