Excel Shortcuts for Navigating and Highlighting

Excel Shortcuts for Navigating and Highlighting

Welcome to our second Excel training video, where we delve into commonly used keyboard shortcuts for navigating and highlighting cells. Excel is a powerful tool for data management, and knowing these shortcuts can significantly enhance your efficiency and productivity. In this blog post, we will explore various keyboard combinations that allow you to move between cells, highlight ranges, name cells, link references, and more. Let's dive in!

Moving Between Cells:

To navigate between cells, you can simply use the arrow keys on your keyboard. Press the right arrow to move one cell to the right, the down arrow to move one cell down, and so on. Moving within continuous ranges is equally straightforward. By combining the Ctrl key with the arrow keys, you can move right, left, up, or down between continuous ranges.

Moving to Home/End:

The home cell, located at the top-left corner of the spreadsheet (usually A1), can be accessed instantly by pressing Ctrl+Home. Similarly, pressing Ctrl+End will take you to the bottom-right corner of your data area. If you prefer a more specific destination, the F5 key opens the Go To menu, allowing you to enter the cell name directly.

Naming Cells:

Assigning names to cells or ranges can make your formulas and references more meaningful. To name a cell, open the Name Manager window with Ctrl+F3. From there, you can create a new name by pressing Alt+N and entering the desired name. Once named, the cell's reference will appear in the top-left corner of Excel. To edit or delete a name, use Alt+E and Alt+D, respectively.

Linking References:

Linking references between sheets or within a sheet is a common practice in Excel. To quickly navigate to a linked cell, press Ctrl+Open Bracket ([). This combination will take you directly to the linked cell. Using Shift+F5, you can move backward through the referenced cells. This is particularly useful when you want to trace the origins of a formula.

Highlighting Ranges:

Highlighting ranges can be done by holding the Shift key and using the arrow keys. For example, to select a range from A1 to B3, press Shift+Right Arrow followed by Shift+Down Arrow. To move within the highlighted area clockwise, use the Tab key. To move counter clockwise, press Shift+Tab.

Deselecting to the Original Cell:

If you want to return to the original cell and deselect the highlighted area, simply press Shift+Backspace. This will take you back to the cell you started from, leaving the rest unselected.

Highlighting Non-Contiguous Ranges:

To select multiple non-contiguous ranges, activate the option by pressing Shift+F8. Then, use the arrow keys to move to the desired cells while holding Ctrl+Shift. This allows you to select multiple areas at once. Alternatively, pressing Ctrl+A will highlight the entire worksheet.


Congratulations! You've learned some essential Excel shortcuts for navigating and highlighting cells. These shortcuts can significantly speed up your work and improve your overall Excel proficiency. Remember to practice using them to become more comfortable and proficient in Excel. If you want to further test your skills, visit hotkeyexcel.com and try out our interactive game. Excel is a powerful tool, and mastering its shortcuts will undoubtedly make your work more efficient and enjoyable. Happy Excel-ing!

Click here to view the resourceClick here to download the resource
Begin your simulation journey today

Start learning new skills with the help of KeySkillset courses and our learning management system today!