Excel tips

Selecting a row in Excel

If you use Excel a lot, this should save you quite a bit of time.

There is a quick way of selecting a row, which seems not to be documented officially:

If you've got the cursor somewhere on a row, and you hold down the Shift key and press the Spacebar, you select the whole row.

You can then extend the selection downwards by holding down Shift and using the down arrow (to the right of the right Ctrl key).

You could also access a range of options by pressing that strange key you've never used before immediately to the left of the right Ctrl key (on most keyboards - anyway the one with the picture of the mouse cursor and the menu on it) and then pressing D for delete etc.

Getting data into Excel 1

You may well know that one of the best places to keep lists is Excel*. The data are easy to sort and can be used for mailmerges etc.

A common problem is that many lists are stored in Word, which is Not a Good Place for them.

If the data are in a Word table, things are not too bad, you can just copy the table into Excel and it recognizes the lines in the table as lines around the Excel cells.

*For gluttons for punishment, there are two sides of A4 on this very subject (and other goodies) at:


Getting data into Excel 2

If your data are in Word, but not in a table, all may not be lost, but it's fiddlier:

Using the Tab key where you want the lines between the Excel cells does the trick.

Easier done than said. If you had in Word:

Chris Dillon

FISO for A&H


[and many similar records,]

you would turn them into:

Chris Dillon[Tab]FISO for A&H[Tab]31599

And in this format you could then use Copy and Paste to transfer the data into Excel.

Tip within a tip:

You could use Word's Replace function (Ctrl-H) to replace e.g. carriage returns with tab characters.