Ctrl + A in Excel: Functions and How to Use It - Compute Expert

# Ctrl + A in Excel: Functions and How to Use It

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From this tutorial, you will learn the function of and how to use Ctrl + A in Excel.

Excel has many shortcuts we can use to make us work faster in it. One of those shortcuts is Ctrl + A. If we can use this shortcut well, we should be able to organize and format our data tables in Excel much easier.

Want to know more about this Ctrl + A shortcut and what it can do in Excel? Let’s discuss it straight away.

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## Functions of Ctrl + A in Excel

We can use Ctrl + A in Excel to select all cells in a data table. The cells that will be selected are the ones around the currently active cell (the cell where we currently put our cell cursor).

## How to Use Ctrl + A in Excel

The way to use Ctrl + A in Excel is quite easy. Just place our cell cursor in one of the cells in a data table and press Ctrl and A buttons simultaneously on our keyboard. Excel will automatically select and highlight all the cells in the data table after we do that.

If we put our cell cursor in a cell that doesn’t seem to be a part of a data table and press Ctrl + A, Excel will select the whole worksheet instead.

When we put our cell cursor in a cell that is part of a data table, Excel will select all the cells in the table when we press Ctrl + A.

If we press Ctrl + A again after that, Excel will proceed to highlight all cells in the worksheet.

If we put our cell cursor in a data table that has been converted into an Excel table, then when we press Ctrl + A, Excel will highlight all of the table data without the headers. That is if we put the cell cursor in one of the table cells except the headers, of course.

If we press Ctrl + A again, Excel will highlight all the table content including the headers.

If we press Ctrl + A again after that, Excel will highlight all cells in the worksheet.

With the behavior of Ctrl + A in mind, this shortcut can help us to manipulate the entire content of a data table easily. Just use it before we process the data table content so we can do it much faster.

## Exercise

After you have learned the function of and how to use Ctrl + A in Excel, let’s test the shortcut on your Excel program.

Open an Excel file that has several data tables and try to select their whole content with Ctrl + A. Convert them into Excel tables if you don’t have one yet (you can learn how to do that here) and try the Ctrl + A shortcut too on them. Format the data table content while you are at it so you can see the use of Ctrl + A in Excel more clearly.

Can you use the shortcut smoothly now?

If you have some data tables in your workbook in Excel, then Ctrl + A can be helpful for you to highlight their whole content much faster instead of having to drag your pointer across those tables.

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