How to Select Multiple Cells in Excel – Fast and Easy (2024)

Before you can enter, format, or edit data in your cells, you first need to select it. For sure, we all know how to select a single cell.

But there are times when we need to select multiple cells in our worksheet 🤔

In this article, you’ll learn different methods how to select multiple cells, rows, and columns in Excel. You will find the following methods fast and easy to do!

Let’s get started, shall we? 😊

Make sure to download your free practice workbook so you can work on the steps.

How to select multiple cells in Excel

I’m sure you know how to select a cell. All you have to do is click on the cell in your worksheet using your mouse.

first method

But to selecting multiple cells involves more than just one click.

The most commonly used way to select multiple cells is to click and drag. You need to click on a cell and drag it over the spreadsheet.

Open your practice workbook and select all the cells with data in the worksheet👇

  1. Press on a cell.
  2. Drag it over the cells you want to select.
select all the cells

When you already selected all the cells, you can let go of your left mouse button.

The selected cells are now called a cell range. A cell range in Excel is a group of selected cells.

There are other ways to select multiple cells in Excel. That is by using the Shift key or Control key on your keyboard.

How to select multiple cells with the Shift key

This is a pretty awesome and easy hack for selecting multiple cells.

  1. First, click on a cell.

For our example, click cell A1 in our practice workbook.

select cells
  1. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.
select cells
  1. Click on another cell in your worksheet.

Let’s click cell D10 in our worksheet.

select cells

When you clicked the last cell, it selected all the cells in its range. This is an awesome alternative to the dragging method of selecting multiple cells👍

There’s one more way you can select multiple cells using the shift key. It’s by using it with the arrow buttons.

Select multiple cells using the Shift and Arrow keys

Let’s try it in our worksheet. Let’s select all the cells in a row in our table.

Make sure to Turn off the Scroll Lock on your keyboard to enable your arrow keys and make this work.

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and press the right arrow button to select the cells in the row.
active cell

Now, you have selected the cells within that row😀

entire row

You can do this too when selecting cells in columns.

This time, use the arrow down button with the Shift key.

selected range

Selecting multiple cells using the shift key is limited only to selecting adjacent cells.

Adjacent cells are cells that are placed close together. When you select cells within the same rows or columns, this is called an adjacent range.

Pretty awesome, right? 🤯 Wait until you see how you can select multiple cells in excel with the Control key too.

How to select multiple cells with the Control key

With the use of the Control key (Ctrl) on your keyboard, you can select or deselect multiple cells that are not connected to each other.

Of course, you can also select adjacent cells with the Control key. But this is most useful when you select non-adjacent cells in Excel😀

Here’s how to select non-adjacent cells in Excel with the Control key.

Let’s select the cells that have male names in them in column A.

  1. Click on any cell. For our example, click cell A3.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key when selecting other cells.
single cell
  1. Click on the other cells.

In our example, the male names are in the list.

cell ranges

In our example, we selected cells within the same column.

But the Control key is not limited to selecting adjacent cells.

You can select non-adjacent cells in your worksheet like this🙌

select non adjacent cells

Amazing, right? If you would like to deselect a cell, simply click on it again.

Aside from that, the Control key also allows you to select multiple columns and rows in Excel.

How to select multiple columns in Excel

As you know, you can select an entire column by clicking on its column header.

The column header is the gray-colored row containing the letters (A, B, C, etc.) used to identify each column in the entire worksheet.

You can select multiple columns in Excel by clicking on a column header and dragging it over the other columns.

column alphabet

This works for selecting multiple adjacent columns. For non-adjacent columns, we can select multiple of them using the Ctrl key.

Let’s select columns A, C, E, and G in our worksheet.

  1. First, select column A.
  2. Press the Ctrl key. Make sure to hold it down when selecting other columns.
all the cells in column
  1. Select columns C, E, and G.
select all the cells in columns

Fast and easy right? 😊

How to select multiple rows in Excel

It is also the same when selecting multiple rows. Use the Ctrl key to select multiple adjacent and non-adjacent rows.

To select rows, you can click on their row numbers in the row header.

The row header is the gray-colored column located to the left of column A in the worksheet containing the numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) used to identify each row in the entire worksheet.

Press and drag the rows you want to select.

all the rows

Easy, right? But what about non-adjacent rows? 🤔

It’s easy too! Let’s select odd rows in our worksheet.

  1. Click row number 1.
  2. Press the Ctrl key when selecting multiple rows. column).
select multiple rows
  1. Select non-adjacent rows. Row numbers 3, 5, 7, and 9 in our worksheet.
multiple non adjacent rows

You can even select multiple rows and columns like this using the Ctrl key😊

rows or columns

That’s it – Now what?

Congratulations🥳 You’ve learned how to select multiple cells in excel. Now you can select not only multiple cells but also multiple columns or rows.

But this is one of the many first things you will learn in Excel. Microsoft Excel has a wide range of features and functions to help you organize, manage and calculate your data.

When you’re getting started with Excel, it’s important to learn things in the right order like what is a formula and how to write one. Plus, you’ll learn about the SUM, COUNT, and AVERAGE functions.

Get started with Excel and make your work fast and easy💪

Learn your first three Excel functions when you sign up for my free Excel training. ✍

Other resources

Do you want to insert multiple cells, rows, or columns in Excel instead? You can! Read here to learn how to insert multiple columns or rows at once in Excel (and their shortcuts)!

New at excel? No problem! Here’s a beginner’s guide to getting started at Excel. Don’t worry, we will be with you every step of the way🤗

We love Excel. You will too!

Frequently asked questions

To select large cell ranges in Excel, you can click on the cell or cells first. Then press keys Ctrl + Shift + Arrow Down to select a large range of cells.

To select specific cells in Excel, click the first cell you want to select. Then press “Ctrl” when selecting other specific cells in your worksheet.