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Excel For Noobs Tutorial: How to Navigate Through an Excel Workbook
I am pretty sure you have already become fairly familiar with how to navigate through Excel. More than likely you are using your mouse or touchpad in combination with your keyboard. However there are other ways of navigating through Excel that you might not be aware of.
The Basic Navigation Style
The most basic way of navigating through Excel is by using your mouse. You can activate a cell by clicking on the cell and you can use all the tabs, commands, dialog boxes etc. by simply using your mouse. If you need to locate a cell that doesnít appear on your screen you can use the scroll bars. Iím pretty sure you have used a scroll bar before. Like Iíve said, if you havenít been on a deserted island for the last 20 years I assume that I donít need to go over this in too much detail.
One basic point that I need to cover is - that the address of the cell is where the Row Number meets the Column Letter. For example, if you follow Column B down to Row 5 you will arrive at cell B5. No this isnít Bingo! I crack myself up.
How to Navigate Through Excel Cells With Your Keyboard
You can also use the up, down, left & right arrow to navigate through the cells in your Excel workbook. If you press the right arrow you will activate the cell directly to the right in the same row. The same goes for the up, down & left arrow.
If you press CTRL RIGHT ARROW you will activate the very next cell to the right that contains data. If there is not a cell to the right that contains data then you will activate the very last cell in the row. The same rule applies to all the other arrows. You can see in our example in image 1-6 that we activated Cell B4 and when we pressed CTRL Right Arrow we skipped 3 cells to the right and activated cell E4. This is because cell E4 right the very next cell in the row that contained data.
If you need to highlight a range of cells you can do this by holding down Shift while using the arrows. Try it!
First activate a cell. Now hold down the Shift button and press the Right Arrow twice and then press Down Arrow twice. If you did this correctly you should have activated a range of 9 cells. Your range should be three rows & three columns. See image 1-7 below.
Using the PGUP & PGDN Key
If you use the PGDN button you will activate the cell exactly one page down in the same column and if you press the PGUP button you will activate the cell that is exactly one page up in the column.
Navigating through Excel Using Your Mouse & Keyboard
Iím pretty sure you are already familiar with this method of navigating through Excel. This method seems to be the most efficient when trying to locate cells that are far apart from each other. It is also more efficient when selecting a large range of cells.
How to Navigate the Ribbon with the Keyboard
What would you do if your mouse stopped working and you had a project you had to complete in 30 minutes? Would you have time to find a new mouse or computer with a working pad and clicker? Luckily there is a way to navigate through the Excel ribbon using only the keyboard. Open an Excel workbook and follow the steps below to understand how this works.
Step 1: Activate Cell B2 and type in the word Data or whatever word you want.
Step 2: Now press the ALT button. Letters will appear over the tabs on the ribbon. If you press the letter over a tab you will select that tab just as if you clicked it with your mouse.
Step 3: Press H on your keyboard. This will activate the ribbon in the Home tab. You should now see letters over the different commands on the ribbon.
Step 4: Now press FC to select the Font Color command. A drop-down dialog box will appear to gather more information from you.
Step 5: Now use the arrows to navigate through the colors. Once you are on the color you want, press Enter and the text will change to that color.
You can continue to practice navigating through the ribbon with only the keyboard. At least through this tutorial we provided you with a starting point. Iím almost certain that if your mouse were to ever stop working and you were on a deadline, you would quickly become proficient operating Excel using only your keyboard.
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