How to Move the Cell Cursor in Excel 2013

To type in a cell in Excel 2013, you must first make it active by moving the cell cursor there. As shown earlier in the figure, the cell cursor is a thick green outline.

You can move the cell cursor by pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard, by clicking the desired cell, or by using one of the Excel keyboard shortcuts. This table provides some of the most common keyboard shortcuts for moving the cell cursor.

Movement Shortcuts
Press This . . . To Move . . .
Arrow keys One cell in the direction of the arrow
Tab One cell to the right
Shift+Tab One cell to the left
Ctrl+arrow key To the edge of the current data region (the first or last cell that isn’t empty) in the direction of the arrow
End To the cell in the lower-right corner of the window*
Ctrl+End To the last cell in the worksheet, in the lowest used row of the rightmost used column
Home To the beginning of the row containing the active cell
Ctrl+Home To the beginning of the worksheet (cell A1)
Page Down One screen down
Alt+Page Down One screen to the right
Ctrl+Page Down To the next sheet in the workbook
Page Up One screen up
Alt+Page Up One screen to the left
Ctrl+Page Up To the previous sheet in the workbook

* This works only when the Scroll Lock key has been pressed on your keyboard to turn on the Scroll Lock function.

Here is an exercise to help you learn to move the cell cursor in a worksheet.

  1. From any blank worksheet, such as the one from the preceding section, click cell C3 to move the cell cursor there.

  2. Press the right-arrow key to move to cell D3 and then press the down-arrow key to move to cell D4.

  3. Press the Home key to move to cell A4.

    Pressing Home moves the cursor to the beginning of the current row, which in this case, is row 4.

  4. Press the Page Down key.

    The cell cursor moves to a cell that is one screenful down from the preceding position. Depending on the window size and screen resolution, the exact cell varies, but you are still in column A.

  5. Use the vertical scroll bar to scroll the display up so that cell A1 is visible.

    Notice that the cell cursor does not move while you scroll. The Name box still displays the name of the cell you moved to previously.

  6. Press Ctrl+Home to move to cell A1.

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