## 3.1. Selecting CellsFirst things first: before you can make any changes to an existing worksheet, you need to select the cells you want to modify. Happily, selecting cells in Exceltry saying that five times fastis easy. You can do it many different ways, and it's worth learning them all. Different selection techniques come in handy in different situations, and if you master all of them in conjunction with the formatting features described in Chapter 4, you'll be able to transform the look of any worksheet in seconds. ## 3.1.1. Making Continuous Range SelectionsSimplest of all is selecting a continuous range of cells. A continuous range is a block of cells that has the shape of a rectangle (high school math reminder: a square is a kind of rectangle), as shown in Figure 3-1 The easiest way to select a continuous range is to click the top-left cell you want to select. Then drag to the right (to select more columns) or down (to select more rows). As you go, Excel highlights the selected cells in blue. Once you've highlighted all the cells you want, release the mouse button. Now you can perform an action, like copying the cell's contents, formatting the cells, or pasting new values into the selected cells. ## Figure 3-1. Top: The thick black border tells you that you've selected the cells A1, B1, and C1. |

GEM IN THE ROUGHA Truly Great Calculation Trick |

Excel provides a seriously nifty calculation tool in the status bar. Just select two or more cells, and look down to the status bar where it says Sum= (shown here). That's the sum of the cells you've selected. You can also instantly perform several other calculations; first select your cells, then right-click anywhere on the Status bar, and then in the menu that appears, choose one of the following options: - Average. The average of all the selected numbers or dates.
- Count. The number of selected cells (including any cells with text in them).
- Count Nums. The number of selected cells that contain numbers or dates.
- Min. The selected number or date with the smallest value (for dates, this means the earliest date).
- Max. The selected number or date with the largest value (for dates, this means the latest date).
- Sum. The sum of all selected numbers. Although you can use Sum with date values, don't bother: adding dates together generates meaningless results.
Not surprisingly, most of the Status bar calculations don't work properly if you select both date and numeric information. For example, when you're attempting to add up a list of numbers and dates, Excel computes the value using both date valueswhich it stores internally as numbers, as explained on Section 4.1.1.7and the ordinary numbers. Excel then displays the final count using the formatting of the first selected cell. That adds up, alas, to a number that doesn't really mean anything. |

Excel 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual

ISBN: 0596528329

EAN: 2147483647

EAN: 2147483647

Year: 2003

Pages: 85

Pages: 85

Authors: Matthew MacDonald

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