How to Select Entire Column and Row Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

In this article, we will learn how to select an entire column in excel and how to select whole row or a table using keyboard shortcut keys. While preparing reports and dashboard in Excel, it's time-consuming to select an entire column using the mouse. These excel shortcuts are useful to save time and help you do your work faster using the keyboard shortcut keys. How to select row with the Excel shortcut?

Selecting cells is a very common function in Excel. It performs many tasks like addition, deletion and width adjustment of multiple rows and columns while applying the formula on data in Excel. Shortcut keys to select all rows and columns can provide an easier and quicker method of using MS Excel 2016. We have a data set here, let’s understand with the example.

How to Select Column in Excel Using Keyboard Shortcuts (CTRL+SPACE)

While navigating on an excel sheet with large data, excel column selection is very basic yet important task. Let's see how easy is selecting columns in excel.

  • Select any cell in any column.
  • Press Ctrl + Space shortcut keys on the keyboard. The whole column will be highlighted in excel to show the selected column, as shown below in the picture. You can also say that this is a shortcut to highlight column in excel.

If you wish to select the adjacent columns with the selected column, use Shift + Left/Right arrow key(s) to select entire columns left or right of that column. You can go either way but can’t select both sides of column.

Let's Select Entire Columns C to E

  1. To Select Column C:E, Select any cell of the 3rd column.
  2. Use Ctrl + Space shortcut keys from your keyboard to select column E (Leave the keys if the column is selected).
  3. Now use Shift + Right (twice) arrow keys to select columns D and E, simultaneously.
  4. You can select columns C:A by using shortcut Shift + Left (twice) arrow keys.
  5. You can select columns to the end of sheet using Ctrl+Shift + Left shortcut.
  6. To select to end of column from a cell, use excel shortcut Ctrl+Shift + Down arrow.

You can't select columns A:E if you start from any column in between. I am repeating, you can only select entire columns in Excel from left or right of initial column.

How to Select Entire Row Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel (SHIFT+SPACE)

This command is used for selecting rows in excel. This is also a shortcut to highlight a row in excel.

    1. Select the cell in the row you wish to select.
    2. Press Shift+ Space key to select the row on the selected cell (release the keys, if the row is selected).

  1. If you wish to select the adjacent rows with the selected row, press Shift+ Up/down arrow key(s) to select the UP or DOWN to that row. You can go either way but can’t access both sides of it.

Selecting 3rd to 5th whole rows of the sheet can be done in two ways:

  1. Select any cell of the 3rd row, press Shift + Space key to select the row.
  2. Now use Shift + Down(twice) arrow key to select the 4th and the 5th row.
  3. Or you could go another way from 5th to 3rd row but you won’t be able to select 3rd and 5th row both, starting from the 4th row.

Select multiple rows and columns of a table with shortcut keys and perform your tasks efficiently.

Frequently Asked Question:

How to apply formula to entire column?

Easy, write a formula in the first cell of column and press CTRL + SPACE to select entire column and then CTRL+D to apply formula to entire column.

How to select all in excel?

To select all data press CTRL+A.

How to highlight a row in excel?

Just select any cell in the row you want to highlight and Press Shift+ Space.

How to select multiple cells in Excel mac?

Hold down the command key and scroll over the cells to select. If the cells are not adjacent then click on the cells while holding the command key.


Hope you understood how to select columns and rows with shortcuts in Excel. You can perform these tasks in 2013 and 2010. Explore more links on shortcut keys here. If you have any query, please mention in the comment box below. We will help you.

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  1. Is it possible to select an entire column where there is a break in the data? e.g. data in rows 1-50, nothing in 51, data in rows 52-100

    • Select the first row, hit CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN KEY. keep it pressed until you reach the bottom row of sheet. Now hit CTRL+SHIFT+UP KEY once. You will have the entire row selected. This is the way with a shortcut key. With VBA you can do it in one hit of course.

  2. Instructions make no sense. You say to not release the Shift key, but you never say to push it in the first place.

    "Excel keyboard shortcuts select Column:-

    Select any cell which you want to select
    Press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard
    Press the space key
    Release the CTRL key and space key and the entire row will be selected
    If you, want to select more than 1 column, don’t release the shift key, use the arrow key to select more than 1 column"

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  7. Also, you can hold Ctrl and one of the arrow keys to move across an entire range (as long as the row or column are consistent. The marker will stop on an empty cell).
    Naturally, if you add Shift to this it will select the range you move across.

    Ctrl + Shift + Arrow


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