Ctrl+A can be more convenient than you think of…

Excel Tips - Opening image If you think Ctrl+A does merely Select All, then you are likely not using it frequently.  Let’s me take you through how to boost your efficiency working with Excel with Ctrl+A under different situations.

1) Select whole worksheet – The basic one

Select any stand-alone cell (immediate surrounding cells are all empty in content), and then press Ctrl+A ==> All cells on the active worksheet  (except objects) are selected

Excel Tips - Ctrl A (v1)

2) Select a continuous Range – Equivalent to Ctrl+*

Select any cell that is part of a continuous range, press Ctrl+A to select the continuous range (current region).  Pressing Ctrl+A again will then select whole worksheet.

Excel Tips - Ctrl A (v2)

Note: If you are working with Excel Table, Ctrl+A will select all data but header (unless your active cell is on the header);  Press Ctrl+A again will select the whole Excel Table including header; Press Ctrl+A again to select whole worksheet.

3) Open Function Arguments dialogue box – Good for beginner in writing formula

Once you have input a function name, pressing Ctrl+A would opens the Function Arguments dialogue box.  Now you may complete your function with guidance. Excel Tips - Ctrl A 3

4) Select All Objects on a worksheet – A magical one

The trick is to select any object on the worksheet first, then Ctrl+A would select ALL objects on the worksheet.  With this, you can say goodbye to Go to Special–>Objects.

Excel Tips - Ctrl A (v3)

5) Select all cells in FIND result – A practical one

When you find something with Find and Replace (Ctrl+F to open the Find and Replace dialogue box), you may want to highlight all cells found.  To do this, just select any one of the results found, and then Ctrl+A would select all results (and cells) found.  See screenshot below.  Once all cells selected, you may apply a Fill color to highlight them. Excel Tips - Ctrl A 5

Here’s an example demonstrating a practical use of the trick. Quickly delete/hide records (rows) with Strike-through format by using Find and a couple of simple techniques Isn’t it nice?

Do you have any other tricks of using Ctrl+A?  Please share in comment.


6) F2, Ctrl+A to go to formula bar directly. 

I just learn this trick from Excelisfun channel.  Check it out here:



About MF

An Excel nerd who just transition into a role related to data analytics at current company......😊 Recently in love with Power Query and Power BI.😍 Keep learning new Excel and Power BI stuffs and be amazed by all the new discoveries.
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6 Responses to Ctrl+A can be more convenient than you think of…

  1. Igor says:

    3) Yes you can use Ctrl+A to open Function dialogue box , but depends which step you are in will give you different results.
    SHIFT+F3 will display the Insert Function dialog box for sure.


  2. Tomislav says:

    very nice post 🙂


  3. Great post – thank you!


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