What is an Active Cell in Excel?

What is an active cell in Excel? How to make a cell active in Excel? Can more than one cell work as an active cell at the same time? You will get all of these queries answered in this article.

The active cell is also referred to as a cell pointer or selected cell. An active cell refers to a cell in an Excel spreadsheet that is currently selected by clicking the mouse pointer or keyboard keys. Remember only one cell can be an active cell at a time. An active cell is bounded by a heavy border around it.

Active cell address

The intersection of a row and a column is a single cell. Each cell in Excel 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.

What is active cell in excel

Column Letters, Row Numbers, Active Cell, Active Cell Address, Name Box. Here the active cell address is C5.

Last active cell in an Excel 2013 worksheet

What is an active cell in Excel

Last active cell of an Excel 2013 spreadsheet

Commands to find the last active cell in Excel 2013 spreadsheet

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 of your Excel 2013 worksheet.

Read More: What is a cell in Excel?

Formatting active cell

You can choose the data type for your active cell. Just right click your mouse on your active cell and a pop-up shortcut menu will be visible with appropriate commands for the selected cell. From the shortcut menu, you can select any command appropriate for your active cell.

What is active cell in Excel

You can format your active cell. Just right-click on the active cell and select desired commands from the Mini Toolbar and Shortcut Menu.

Formatting the appearance of active cell

You can also format the appearance of an active cell. To do this, select ‘Format Cells…’ from the Shortcut Menu and you will get a dialog box from where you select different functionality.

What is active cell in excel

When you click on the ‘Format cells…’ option from the Shortcut Menu, this dialog box appears.

Multiple cells working as the active cell at a time

Generally, a spreadsheet only has one active cell at a time. You can also select multiple cells if necessary. Just drag your cursor over a group of cells, that group of cells will be selected as active cells. Enter something from your keyboard, the first cell of the group will take the input, not all. If you press then CTRL+ENTER, all the cells in the group will take the values.

What is active cell in Excel

Drag your cursor over a group of cells, that group of cells will be selected as active cells. Enter something from your keyboard and press CTRL+ENTER, you will get this type of output.

While multiple cells are selected and if you change the format of the cell, then the changes will affect all of the active cells selected.

NOTE: When you will write functions for Microsoft Excel, the ActiveCell property is used to refer to the active cell. For example, you can use the following code to change the font of your active cell.

Using VBA(Visual Basic Applications)

Write some numbers in a cell and make it an active cell. Then just go Developer⇒Visual Basic, and a new Microsoft Visual Basic for applications window will display, then go Insert⇒Module, and then input the following codes in the module.

Sub Macro()
With ActiveCell.Font
    .Bold = True
    .Italic = True
End With
End Sub

After inputting the above code, click F5 on your keyboard to execute the code. You will find that the numbers in the active cell have been changed to bold and italic.

By default, when you press Enter key on your keyboard, the active cell will move one cell down. You can change this behavior by changing the option. Go to File, then Options, then select Advanced and in Advanced you will find ‘After pressing Enter, move selection’ checkbox. Choose the first value of the Direction drop-down menu, you will get the other three options.

What is active cell in Excel

Move the active cell in any direction after pressing the Enter key. Use the following command:
File⇒Options⇒Advanced⇒After pressing Enter, move selection⇒Direction(click first value)

Wrapping Up

So, these are all about the active cell in excel. If you have any questions related to Excel Active Cell, please put them in the comments section.

Further Readings




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