Selecting Non-Adjacent or Non-Contiguous Cells in Excel (5 Simple Methods)

In Excel you can select adjacent cells very easily. It is a straightforward one. But Selecting non-adjacent cells (you may refer to them as non-contiguous cells), not that easy, right? No worries, today I’m going to show you how to select non-adjacent cells, believe me you will wonder how easy that was! All these methods will work on different Microsoft Excel versions (Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019).

But, first things first, let’s know about the Excel sheet first, which will be used as a base for our examples for this article.

Excel Sheet look of article Select Non-Adjacent Cells

This Excel sheet is about customer details, pursuing credit cards. There are seven columns, Gender Code, Customer Name, Address, City, Email, Phone Number, Credit Card Type. You might see a couple of duplicate values, these are used on purpose.

Practice Workbook

For your convenience, I have shared the Excel sheet. You can download it from the link below.

Ways to Select Non-Adjacent or Non-Contiguous Cells in Excel

Numbers of ways to select non-adjacent cells in Excel. As I told you, today I’m going to list out five easy ways for you. Let’s begin.

Method 1: Select Non-Adjacent Cells Using the Mouse and Keyboard

In this method we will use our mouse to select the cells (though we are going to take a small help from the keyboard).

  1. Click on the cell you want to select (you may drag and select a couple of cells at once). Here I’m selecting the first row from the Customer Name column. You can choose your own selection.

Select a cell on article Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. Hold the CTRL on the keyboard and bring the cursor on the desired cell, Left Click on the mouse. Here I’m going to select two distinct rows from Customer Name and Email.

Select Cells by mouse - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Leave the mouse click and this will select the cells. After selecting the desired cells you can release the CTRL key.

Method 2: Select Non-Adjacent Cells Using Only the Keyboard

In the previous method we have used the mouse, though the CTRL key was helpful. But in this way of selecting we are going to use the Keyboard only.

  1. First of all select the cell you prefer. C4 cell has been selected here
  2. Now press the F8 key It will lock the active cell C4, into your selected portion and simultaneously put your system in the Extend Selection mode. It also says that in the Status bar.

Extended Selection mode - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. Now press SHIFT + F8. And go to any other cell and add that into your selection. Let’s go to F4 cell, then press F8 key again

Add or Remove Selection - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Cells have been selected. You can go to as many cells as you want and select. To cancel out this mode press F8 two times repeatedly.


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Method 3: Select Non-Adjacent Cells Using the Name Box

In this method we will use the Name Box. You have to type the Cell Reference on the Name Box manually. So be sure about your cells.

  1. Write down the cells on the Name Box, separated by comma(,)

Name Box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. Now Hit Enter.

Cell Reference on Name Box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Cells have been selected. I have selected C4,F4,C6,F6. You can choose yours. Remember one thing, you need not to follow any order. 

Method 4: Select Non-Adjacent Cells Using Find and Replace

In this way of selection, I am going to show you how to select non-contiguous cells using Find and Replace tool.

  1. First of all press CTRL + F
  2. Now on the Find what option write your desired word. I’m using Allen Perl. 

Find - Replace - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. Click on Find All.
  2. The box will show you all the findings that match the keyword. Now simply click CTRL + A

Select All on Find - Replace Box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Cells containing the keywords have been selected. You can close the Find and Replace box, it will not hamper your selections.

Method 5: Select Non-Adjacent Cells or Columns Using Go To

In this method, we will use an editing tool called Go To. Let’s explore it.

  1. On the Home tab of Excel you will find the Find & Select option. Click it.
  2. Now you will see an option called  Go To. Click there.

Go To box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. A new dialog box will emerge upon you. Insert the Cell Reference of the cells you want to select, separated by comma.

Insert Cell Reference on Go To box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. Now Click Ok on the dialog box or just Hit Enter.

Selected Cells with Go To box - Select Non-Adjacent Cells

Cells will be selected. I’ve selected C4,F4,C7,F7. You can choose yours. Similar to the Name Box method, you need not to follow any order and the last one on the list will show as an active cell.

Conclusion

So that’s all for today’s session. I’ve tried listing out some of the basic methods to select non-adjacent or non-contiguous cells in Excel. Hope you will find this helpful. Feel free to comment if anything seems hard to understand. Let us know which of the options you prefer most or if you have your own way of selecting non-adjacent cells.


Further Readings

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Shakil Ahmed

Shakil Ahmed

My name’s Shakil. My articles are targeted to support you in enriching knowledge regarding different features related to Microsoft Excel. I am fond of literature, hope some knowledge from them will help me providing you some engaging articles even though some weary technical terms.

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