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Excel Range Definition

Excel Range Definition

© Ted French

A range is a group or block of cells in a worksheet that have been selected or highlighted. When cells have been selected they are surrounded by an outline or border.

Normally there is only one cell in the worksheet with a black outline. This is the active cell. Whatever command is executed by Excel affects the active cell.

Using the mouse, keyboard or Name Box, more than one cell can be selected to create a range, and commands executed by Excel will affect the entire range.

Ranges can be made up of adjacent or non-adjacent cells. Adjacent cells are all together. There are no gaps in the range. Non-adjacent cell ranges consist of two or more separate blocks of cells. These blocks can be separated by rows or columns. For non adjacent ranges, a block of cells can be of any size – from one to several hundred or even a thousand or more.

A range consisting of adjacent cells can be created by dragging with the mouse.

Ranges consisting of non-adjacent cells can be created by using the mouse and keyboard, or the keyboard on its own.

Ranges are identified by the cell references or addresses of the cells in the upper left and lower right corners of the range. These two references are separated by a colon ( : ) which tells Excel to include all the cells between these start and end points.

An example of a range of adjacent cells as seen in the image above would be D1:D6.

Non adjacent cell ranges are identified by separating the range of each cell block with commas.

An example would be A2:B4, D6:E8.

The two cell blocks in the range are A2 to B4 and D6 to E8.

Also Known As: Cell Range

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