How to Select a Range of Cells in Excel (9 Methods)

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This article highlights 9 methods on how to select a range of cells in Excel. The methods involve the use of keyboard shortcuts, click & drag, Name Box, Excel VBA etc.


How to Select a Range of Cells in Excel: 9 Ways

Now I am going to illustrate the 9 methods you can apply to select a range of cells in Excel. We will use the following dataset to do that.


1. Click & Drag to Select a Range of Cells in Excel

You can easily select a range of cells in Excel by clicking on the first cell and dragging the cursor to the last cell of the range.

  • For example, click on cell B3 and drag it to cell B10. You will see the entire range of cells B3 to B10 are selected as follows.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel by Click & Drag


2. Select a Range of Cells Using Keyboard Shortcut

  • First, select cell B3. Then press SHIFT+ ➔+ ⬇. After that, you will see range B3:C4 is selected as shown below.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using CTRL+Arrow

  • You can press the arrows more times to extend the selection. Use ⬆ or ⬅ to select cells above or left to the first cells respectively.
  • Now, select cell A3. Then press CTRL+SHIFT+ ⬇. This will select all the cells below A3 until a blank cell is found. You can use the other arrows accordingly.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow

  • You can also select a cell within a range of cells. Then press CTRL+A to select the entire range of cells.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using CTRL+A Shortcut


3. Use the Name Box to Select a Range of Cells in Excel

  • Enter B5:C10 in the Name Box above the upper left corner of the dataset. You will see the range selected as shown in the following picture.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using the Name Box

  • If you enter B:B or C:C then the entire column B or column C will be selected respectively. Entering B:D will select columns B to D. Now enter 4:4 or 5:5 and rows 4 or 5 will be selected respectively. Similarly, entering 4:10 will select rows 4 to 10.
  • You can also select a defined range using the Name Box. Click on the dropdown arrow in the Name Box and choose the name of the desired range or list.


4. Select a Range of Cells with SHIFT+Select

Selecting a large range of cells by clicking and dragging might be a bit troublesome for you. Because you will need to scroll through the data while dragging. There is an easy way around doing this using the SHIFT key.

  • First, you need to select the first cell of the range. For example, select cell B3. Then scroll through the data. Next, hold the SHIFT key and select the last cell of the range (let’s say cell C40). After that, the entire range of cells (B3:C40) will be selected.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using SHIFT+Select


5. Select Multiple Ranges of Cells with CTRL+Select

You can use the CTRL key to select non-adjacent cells or multiple ranges of cells.

  • First select range A3:A10. Now hold the CTRL key and select range C3:C10. Then ranges A3:A10 and C3:C10 will be selected as follows.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel using CTRL+Select


6. Select Rows or Columns of Cells in Excel

  • You can easily select single or multiple rows of cells by selecting the row numbers at the left of each row. To select non-adjacent rows, hold the CTRL key and then select the desired rows.

Select Rows of Cells in Excel

  • Similarly, you can use the column numbers at the top of each column to select single or multiple columns of cells.

Select Columns of Cells in Excel


7. Select a Range of Cells with the Go To Command

Press F5 or CTRL+G to open the Go To command. Enter the reference (B4:C9) of the desired range of cells and hit the OK button. Then the range will be selected as follows.

Select a Range of Cells in Excel with the Go To Command


8. Select All Cells in the Worksheet in Excel

  • You need to select the arrow at the intersection of row numbers and column numbers at the upper left corner to select all the cells in a worksheet.

Select All Cells in the Worksheet in Excel

  • Alternatively, press CTRL+A to select all the cells of a blank worksheet. Use the shortcut twice if the worksheet has data in it.

9. Select a Range of Cells with Excel VBA

You can also select any range of cells using VBA in Excel. Follow the steps below to be able to do that.

Steps

  • First press ALT+F11 (on Windows) or Opt+F11 (on Mac) to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) You can also open it from the Developer tab.
  • Then select Insert >> Module to open a blank module.

  • Next copy the following code.
Sub SelectCellsInExcel()

Range("B3:B10").Select

End Sub

 

  • Then paste the copied code on the blank module. After that run the code using the triangular icon or the Run tab.

  • Finally, the selected range will look as shown below. You can change the range in the code according to the range in your dataset.


Things to Remember

  • Make sure to use the proper arrow while applying the CTRL+SHIFT+ ⬇ shortcut. If you don’t press the SHIFT key, it will take you to the last used cell instead of selecting them.
  • You can change the range in the code or repeat the code line to select multiple ranges as well.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from the download button below.


Conclusion

Now you know how to select a range of cells in Excel. Please use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions.


Select Range in Excel: Knowledge Hub


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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Md. Shamim Reza, a marine engineer with expertise in Excel and a fervent interest in VBA programming, sees programming as a time-saving tool for data manipulation, file handling, and internet interaction. His diverse skill set encompasses Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He holds a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and has transitioned into a content developer role, generating technical content focused on Excel and VBA. Beyond his professional pursuits,... Read Full Bio

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