Undoubtedly, we’ve all used Microsoft Excel at some point in our lives. Now, to improve our productivity and time management when working in Excel, we’ll have to improve the actions we perform most often in Excel, that is to say, navigating around the worksheets and selecting cells. Keeping this in mind, in this tutorial, we’ll take a deep dive into how to use navigation keys in Excel. In addition, we’ll also discuss how to fix the issue of navigation keys not working.
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First and foremost, let’s assume the Sales Dataset in the B4:E15 cells containing the “Week” and “Sales Quantity” columns for 3 laptop models respectively. In this scenario, we want to demonstrate how to use navigation keys in Excel and navigate around this dataset using various keyboard shortcuts.
Here, we have used the Microsoft Excel 365 version; you may use any other version according to your convenience.
First of all, let’s begin with the fundamentals of navigating within the cells in an Excel spreadsheet. Now, we’ve provided a carefully curated list of shortcuts in the table below, to move across the cells in Excel
|Left, Right, Up, and Down Arrow||Moves by one cell in the direction of the arrow|
|CTRL + Arrow Key||Moves to the boundary of the dataset|
|SHIFT + Arrow Key||Selects one cell in the direction of the arrow|
|CTRL + SHIFT + Arrow Key||Selects all the non-blank cells in the direction of the arrow|
|Tab||Shifts to the right by one cell|
|Shift + Tab||Shifts to the left by one cell|
|Home||Jumps to the start of the row|
|CTRL + Home||Moves to the first cell (A1) of the worksheet|
|End||Goes to the next blank cell in the row|
|CTRL + End||Proceeds to the last unused cell at the bottom|
|Page Up||Moves up by one page/screen|
|Page Down||Goes down by one page/screen|
|ALT + Page Up||Scrolls to the left by one unit of screen|
|ALT + Page Down||Scrolls to the right by one unit of screen|
In this case, the figure below depicts the directional Arrow Keys (Up, Down, Left, and Right) that are needed to navigate the cells in the worksheet.
Now, imagine a situation where you have hundreds of rows in your dataset, and you need to jump from the first to the last row. Fortunately, Excel’s plethora of shortcuts has you covered so, let’s navigate from the top to the bottom row in the blink of an eye!
- First, go to the B5 cell which is the first row of the table >> press CTRL + Down Arrow keys (🔽).
Voila! That is how simple and easy it is to move to the last row.
At this point, you can follow the steps in the animated GIF below.
Now, apply the other shortcuts from the list and let us know in the comments below.
Read More: [Fixed] Excel Navigation Arrow Keys Not Working
2. Moving Across the Selected Ranges
Additionally, we can navigate across a selection of cells using the keys listed in the table below.
|Tab||Shifts to the right/down by one cell in the selected cells|
|SHIFT + Tab||Moves to the left/up in the selected range|
|ENTER||Proceeds from top to bottom by one cell in the selected cells|
|SHIFT + ENTER||Jumps from bottom to top|
On this occasion, let’s learn to select a range of cells and then move across them using the shortcuts we’ve learned thus far.
- In the first place, navigate to the B5 cell >> press CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow keys (🔽).
- Next, click the Tab key on the on-screen keyboard as shown below.
Eventually, this moves the cursor down by one cell from the top.
Moreover, we can observe the steps in real time in the GIF below.
Besides, we may need to switch worksheets while working with Excel. Luckily, there are shortcuts to switch to the next and the previous worksheets.
|CTRL + Page Down||Navigates to the following worksheet|
|CTRL + Page Up||Moves to the preceding worksheet|
In this case, the GIF below shows the steps to switch between the two worksheets.
Read More: How to Navigate Between Sheets in Excel (8 Easy Methods)
4. Utilizing Scroll Lock Feature
Furthermore, another nifty feature of Excel is the Scroll Lock option which allows us to scroll large spreadsheets without having to lose track of the active cell.
|Scroll Lock then, Up/Down Arrow||Shifts up/down by one row|
|Scroll Lock then, Left/Right Arrow||Moves left/right by a unit row|
|Scroll Lock then, CTRL + Left/Right Arrow||Navigates left/right by one window|
|Scroll Lock + CTRL + Arrow Keys||Scrolls across large distances|
- Initially, hit the Scroll Lock button to enable this feature.
📃 Note: As a note, when Scroll Lock is enabled, the text “Scroll Lock” appears in the Status Bar.
- In turn, press the CTRL + Right Arrow (➡) key as shown in the image below.
- Not long after, the screen moves to the right side by one page.
- In addition to this, see the steps in the GIF for a live demonstration.
Read More: How to Navigate Large Excel Spreadsheets (10 Useful Techniques)
5. Employing Scroll Bars
Alternatively, we can also employ the Scroll Bars to navigate through rows and columns in an Excel worksheet.
|Moves across one column left or right|
|Shifts through one row up or down|
|Dragging the horizontal and vertical scroll bars scrolls through large distances|
|Mouse Wheel||Moving the mouse wheel forward or backward scrolls up or down|
Apart from this, the animated GIF below also shows the above steps.
6. Applying Mouse Wheel to Scroll and Zoom
For one thing, we can also control various other aspects of zooming and scrolling in Excel with the help of the Mouse Wheel, as shown below.
|CTRL + SHIFT + Mouse Wheel||Moves the window to the left or right|
|Click Mouse Wheel||Pan across the spreadsheet|
|CTRL + Mouse Wheel||Zooms in or out of the worksheet|
- To begin with, hold down the CTRL button >> move the Mouse Wheel forward.
Subsequently, this increases the zoom to “115%” as shown by the Zoom Indicator.
Furthermore, if you wish, you may follow the steps in real time from the GIF below.
Last but not least, have you faced a scenario where the navigation keys don’t work? Then, you’re in luck, since the following section describes how to fix this issue. Now, allow us to demonstrate the process in the steps below.
- At the very beginning, check whether the Scroll Lock option is active, as indicated in Excel’s Status Bar.
📃 Note: Now, if the Scroll Lock is on, then a light corresponding to it glows on the keyboard.
Consequently, the GIF below shows the problem when the Scroll Lock is on, while switching it off resumes the normal behavior of the navigation keys.
Admittedly, we’ve skipped some of the relevant ways to fix navigation keys not working, which you may explore if you wish.
To sum up, we hope this article helps you understand the basics of how to use navigation keys in Excel. Now, if you have any queries, please leave a comment below. And, you can read more articles like this on our website, ExcelDemy.