Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

F8 and Shift+F8: Extend Selection in Excel

Posted in Microsoft Excel by estephen on April 13th, 2007

You may know that when you’re selecitng cells in Excel with the mouse, pressing the Ctrl button as you click adds the selected cells to the selection.

But, there’s an easier way. First, let’s try “Extend Mode” with F8. If you press F8, you enter Extend Mode, and now the arrow keys will extend the selection. (Of course, we already covered here that pressing Shift when you use the arrow keys does the same thing without messing around with the F8 key.)

However, this next bit’s useful. If you press Shift+F8, then you lock in the current group of selected cells, and can use the arrow keys to move to another area, and then select new cells (either using the normal Shift select method or Extend Mode).

Once the cells are selected, you can do whatever you like to them, such as bold with Ctrl+B.

4 Responses to 'F8 and Shift+F8: Extend Selection in Excel'

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  1. j2 said,

    on November 13th, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    thanks – really helped me

  2. Jackie Berry said,

    on November 30th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    This really helped me. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with people such as myself.

  3. sadik said,

    on May 15th, 2015 at 4:35 am


  4. Lori said,

    on June 4th, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for breaking down the Shift and arrow as the alternate F8 Extend Mode selection. I was having the symptoms, but hadn’t pressed F8. Fixed it right up! Thank you!

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