In this short tutorial we are going to cover all of the different ways that you can navigate through an Excel worksheet. As described in the previous tutorial, an excel worksheet consists of rows which are represented by numbers 1 -- 1,048,576, and columns which are represented by letters A -- XFD. After column Z the columns are addressed by AA, AB, AC...BA, BB, BC...AAA, BBB,...,XFD.
Where a row and a column intersect is an individual cell. For example, if you were to follow column B down to row 10 then you would find yourself at an individual cell which would be cell B10. Remember, as described in our previous tutorial, an active cell will have a dark bold border around it and the column letter and row number will be highlighted. When a cell is active, any data, text, numbers, formulas etc... will be entered into the active cell.
Using You Keyboard to Navigate through Excel
You are able to use your keyboard to navigate through excel. It is simple and is done just as you probably expected. You can use the arrow buttons to move up and down from cell to cell. If you press the right arrow then you will move right one cell. You will remain in the same row number but will move right one column letter. The same happens if you press the up, down or left button on your keyboard. If you press "CTRL + one of the arrows" then it will move you or "activate" the nearest cell which contains data, or is not empty. For example, if I was currently active in cell B4 and pressed "CTRL right" then it would activate F4 if cells C4 -- E4 were empty.
If you press the PGUP or PGDN button then it will activate the cell that is exactly one page down or one page up. What is considered one page down or one page up depends on how much you are zoomed into the worksheet. For example, on my laptop using Windows 7, when Excel is zoomed at 100% there are 25 visible rows. If I am currently active in Cell C1 then when I hit the PGDN button it activates C26, exactly one page down. If I zoom out to 80% I can see 32 rows, therefore if I press the PGDN button it activates cell C33, exactly one page down.
For the PGUP and PGDN buttons to work it is easier if you press the NUM LOCK button, or you can keep the NUM LOCK button off and simply press "SHIFT + PGUP or PGDN" Also many keyboards have the arrows and PGUP/PGDN buttons separate from the number pad.
Navigating Through Excel With Your Mouse
Another way that you can navigate through Excel is by using your mouse and keyboard in combination. You can always simply click on the cell that you want to activate instead of using the arrow buttons. Another thing you can do is zoom in and out of an Excel worksheet by holding the CTRL button and using the scroll wheel on your mouse if you have one.
It is much easier to use your mouse when you are wanting to highlight multiple cells. This may be useful if you want to change the color of multiple cells at the same time or ad borders and other features that Excel offers. Using the mouse to scroll up, down, left, or right is also much faster than if you were using the arrows on the keyboard. When scrolling with the mouse Excel begins to scroll faster the more you move the mouse. When you activate a cell you are able to right click and make many different modifications that can also be made by using features on the ribbon. The way you make these modifications is just personal preference but you will find that using the right click button to modify cells is more efficient that referring to the ribbon for many features.