How to Select a Cell Without Deselecting

By Frank Gates

When using Excel 2010, or earlier versions, there are many times you want to select nonadjacent cells to build a formula or to format individual cells on the worksheet. There are a number of keyboard techniques that allow you numerous options for selecting any cells you want without deselecting cells you have previously selected. Excel has a built-in feature called "Add to Selection" that can be turned on and off with a keyboard shortcut.

Step 1

Add one cell at a time to previously selected cells, without deselecting any of these previously selected cells, by pressing and holding "Ctrl" while you use the left mouse button to add new cells.

Step 2

Add a range of cells to previously selected cells without deselecting any of these previously selected cells by pressing and holding "Shift" while you drag the left mouse button to add a new range of cells.

Step 3

Add more cells to an existing selection of cells by turning on the "Add to Selection" feature by pressing "Shift"+"F8," and then using your mouse to select any nonadjacent cells.

Step 4

Turn off this "Add to Selection" feature by pressing "Shift"+"F8" a second time, and Excel will revert to the default cell selection technique.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice adding cells using the "Ctrl" and "Shift" key techniques, and you will quickly understand how this works.
  • Try out the "Add to Selection" feature to make this tool part of your Excel toolkit.