Spreadsheets - Cell Selection

December 2016

Cell Selection

Spreadsheets are powerful tools for working with data. However, to work with data, it is necessary to have tools to rapidly choose the required cells.

Line Selection

An entire line can be chosen by clicking directly on the line header:

Choosing a line in a spreadhseet

It is also possible to choose a line using the keyboard by moving to a cell on the line and then pushing <Caps lock>+<Spacebar> simultaneously.

When referring to a line in a formula, simply use the name of the line.

Column Selection

Using a method similar to that used to choose entire lines, an entire column can be chosen by clicking directly on the column header:

Choosing a colomn in a spreadhseet

It is also possible to choose a column using the keyboard by moving to a cell in the column and then pushing <CTRL>+<Spacebar> simultaneously.

When referring to a column in a formula, simply use the name of the column.

Selecting a Block of Cells

To select a range of cells (also called a block of cells), simply click on a cell (the starting cell) and move the mouse with the left button held down in order to highlight the required cells all the way to the ending cell :

Choosing a group of cells in a spreadhseet

Note that the name zone (on the upper left) shows the number of lines and colomns present in the selection.

Nota Bene The starting cell has a different color (white). It is, however, part of the selection just like the other highlighted cells!

It is also possible to choose a range of cells by clicking on the starting cell and then clicking on the ending cell while holding the <SHIFT> key down.

In formulas, a range of cells is written by showing the coordiantes of the starting cell and the ending cell seperated by a ":"  :

Reference_Cell_Start:Reference_Cell_End
For instance, in the example above, the cell range would be written as follows:
D16:F21

Disjointed Cell Selection

It is possible to choose disjointed (non-contiguous) cells within a range, meaning cells that are not beside each other. To do this, choose cells or ranges of cells while holding the Control (<CTRL>) button down.

Disjointed Cell Selection

In formulas, a selection of cells or a range of disjointed cells is written by showing the coordinates of the cells or of the ranges of cells and seperating them with semicolons:

Ref_Cell1;Ref_Cell2;Ref_Cell_Start_Range1:Ref_Cell_End_Range1
For instance, in the example above, the cell selection would be written as follows:
D6;D8;D9

Contiguous Line Selection

Just as it is possible to select numerous colocated cells, it is also possible to select numerous contiguous lines. To do this, simply choose the starting line and then click on the ending line while holding the <SHIFT> button down:

Contiguous Line Selection

To write this in a formula, the starting line is seperated from the ending line by a : :

Starting_Line;Ending_Line

In L1C1 notation, it would be written as:

LStartingNumber:LEndingNumber

In A1 notation, it would be written as:

StartingNumber:EndingNumber
For instance, in the example above, the line selection would be written as follows:
6:9

Disjointed Line Selection

To select non-contiguous lines, click successively on the line headers of the desired lines while holding the Control (<CTRL>) button down:

Non-contiguous Line Selection

In formulas, a selection of disjointed lines is written by showing the coordiantes of the lines separated with semicolons:

Ref_Line1;Ref_Line2;...
For instance, in the example above, the line selection would be written as follows:
6;8;9

Worksheet Selection

It is possible to select all the cells on a worksheet by clicking on the empty box on the upper left of the worksheet:

Selection of all the cells of a worksheet in StarOffice


Related :

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