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You might not hear a quarterback yell Shift + End + Arrow key this weekend, but after watching Excel Video 209 you might try it instead. Holding down the Shift key, the End key, and an arrow key will cause Excel to select all of the cells in the direction of the arrow key until you find a blank cell. If you have 20 cells, this is a nice trick. If you have 20,000 cells, this is a lifesaver. Shift + End + Arrow key is way faster than scrolling down rows or across columns.
Watch out for a gotcha with this trick. The way Excel decides when to stop selecting cells is when it comes to an empty cell. If you happen to have an empty cell hiding in the middle of a long list of data, Excel might find that empty cell and stop selecting before you expect it to. Watch out for empty cells when you’re using the Shift + End + Arrow key trick.
Occasionally when I do Shift + End + Arrow key, Excel will only select the next cell instead of all of the cells I want. Simply hold down Shift +End + Arrow key again. Sometimes I have to try this key combination more than once, but it’s a great shortcut.
Finally, I’ve booked a couple of speaking engagements for state MGMA societies in the last week. Typically for state societies we’ll either do a full day or a half day workshop where attendees can bring their laptops and follow along. Some of these Excel tricks look easy when I do them. People retain the Excel tricks much better when they have a chance to bring their laptops and try it themselves. If I’m not coming to your state in 2012, I’d love to a presentation for your state MGMA society.