For this lesson we'll open a new blank workbook.
The new workbook's called Book1, but I think I'd like it to have a more descriptive name, so I'll save it with a different name. To do that I click the File tab at the top left of the screen, Save As. I'm going to save it on my computer. I'll save it in my Practice folder, and I'll give it the name "Data Range Test", and then click Save.
Now that you've mastered the technique of selecting cells, you can use it to speed up data entry. When you select a range of cells prior to entering data, Excel knows that all data entered belongs in that range. Several key combinations are then available to greatly speed up data entry.
So I'll begin by selecting a range. I'll select cells B2 to D4. To do this I hover the mouse cursor in the centre of cell B2 until I see the White Cross cursor shape, then hold down the mouse button and drag across to cell D4.
I'm now going to type "London" on the keyboard, and notice that the text has appeared in the top left cell of the selected range. I now press the Enter key and, as expected, I move down one cell.
Now I'll type "Paris" and press the Enter key again, and once again the active cell moves down one cell.
Now I'm going to type "New York" and, when I press the Enter key this time, something new is going to happen. I'll press the Enter key, and the active cell didn't move to cell B5 as you might have expected. It moved to the next empty cell in the currently selected range. In other words, cell C2.
I'll now type 150,000, followed by the Enter key. For Paris I'll leave the entry blank and just press the Enter key. And for New York I'll type the value 225,000.
The active cell now moves to cell D2, and that's probably what you expected by now. But let's imagine that you now want to change your mind about that blank Paris value and enter a value in cell C3.
I'm going to hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and press the Enter key once, and once again. And you can see that holding down the Shift key reverses the behaviour of pressing Enter, so that instead of moving to the next cell it moves to the previous cell.
In cell C3, I'll type the Paris sales now, of 180,000, and this time I'll press the Tab key. When I press the Tab key, as you'd expect, the active cell moves to cell D3.
Tab works in the same way as Enter. In other words, holding down Shift will reverse the navigation behaviour.
I'll do that now, by holding down the Shift key and pressing the Tab key again. And this time I move to the left rather than to the right.
Let's try again, Shift-Tab, Tab, Tab, Shift-Tab, Shift Tab, Tab, Tab. So you can now appreciate how to use the technique of using Enter, Tab, Shift-Tab, and Shift-Enter, to save a lot of time when entering a whole table of data.
I'm now going to click away from the selected range to deselect it, and I'm going to select cells D2 to D4. I hover in the center of cell D2 until I see the White Cross cursor shape and then click and drag down to D4.
I'm going to now enter the value 50% into cell D2. So I type 50 and then a Shifted 5 on the keyboard to add the % symbol. But I'm not pressing Enter or Tab just yet because my challenge this time is to place the same value into cells D3 and D4 without having to type the value two more times, and to do that I'll use the key combination Control-Enter.
So I'm holding down the Control key on the keyboard and now I'll press Enter. Control-Enter causes the value to be replicated into all of the other cells in the selected range.
Let's see that working now with a bigger range. I'll select a large range of cells. I'll type the value 100 in my keyboard, which will appear in the top left cell of the selected range.
Then I'll hold down Control and press Enter. And you can see that that was a lot faster than typing the value into every cell.
I'll now delete all of those values by pressing the Delete key on the keyboard.
And you've now completed Lesson 2-5: Enter Data into a Range and Copy Data Across a Range.