How to Select a Range in Excel [3 Ways]

In Excel, a range refers to a group of cells selected or referenced together. Understanding and working with ranges is crucial for performing various data manipulations, analyses, and calculations in Excel. It will help you indicate the range in a proper manner. In this overview, I will explain what a range is in Excel, how to work with them, and their significance in Excel.

What is a Range?

A range is characterized by its cell references in Microsoft Excel. Ranges represent the starting and ending points of the selected group of cells. For example, a range might be denoted as A1:C9, where A1 is the top-left cell and C9 is the bottom-right cell of the range.

Easiest Way to Select a Range in Excel

There are various methods to select a range in Excel. I am covering all of them one by one below. The primary method to select a range is to click and drag the selection to your targeted cells.

Usage Guide

Step_1: Click on a cell.

Step_2: Drag the mouse to extend the selection to adjacent cells.

Step_3: Release the mouse button to form a range.

Final Result >

Drag the cursor to Create a Range in Excel

This way, I selected the cell ranges from A1 to C9.

Alternative Way #1: Use the SHIFT Key to Select a Range in Excel

Using the SHIFT key is a keyboard shortcut to create the cell range.

Usage Guide

Step_1: Click on the first cell.

Step_2: Hold the SHIFT key.

Step_3: Then click on the last cell to create the range.

Final Result >

Holding down the SHIFT key, I first chose cell A1, then A9. This way, the cell range A1:A9 is formed by choosing the cells between the two.

Use the SHIFT Key to Create a Range in Excel

Alternative Way #2: Type the Range Manually to Select the Range in Excel

While working with Excel formulas, you can manually mention two cell addresses to select the range.

Let’s say, you are applying the SUM function to your worksheet in cell B11.

Usage Guide

Step_1: Click on the formula bar.

Step_2: Enter the equal sign (=) inside the formula bar.

Step_3: Enter your preferred function.

I inserted the SUM function.

Step_4: Manually enter the cell references separated by a colon to specify the range, B2:B9.

Final Result >

The range will be successfully selected!

Use the Range Reference to Create a Range in Excel

Types of Ranges in Excel

Excel has different kinds of ranges, including:

1. Single Cell Range

A range that consists of just one cell. Example: cell range B5.

Types of Ranges in Excel: single cell range

2. Multi-Cell Range

A range that includes two or more adjacent cells in a row, column, or rectangular shape. Example: cell range A3:C5.

Types of Ranges in Excel: multi-cell range

3. Non-Adjacent Range

A range composed of multiple individual cells or ranges that are not contiguous. Example: A3, A5, A7, and A9. To create a non-adjacent range, press the CTRL key and select your desired cells with the cursor.

Types of Ranges in Excel: non-adjacent cell range

4. Entire Column/Row

A range that covers the entire column (e.g., A:A) or row (e.g., 1:1) of a worksheet.


In conclusion, understanding ranges in Excel is fundamental to effectively organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. I hope you get a clear concept of ranges and utilize them with formulas and functions. To clarify any confusion regarding this topic, you can comment below in the comment box. Thank you!

Excel Glossary | Active Cell | Cell Address | Function | Argument | Formula | Wildcard | Worksheet | Workbook

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