Move the Cursor with NaturallySpeaking in Spreadsheets

The Move Up/Down/Left/Right commands can also be used when you work with spreadsheets. They do exactly what you need: move the cursor from one cell to another. If the currently selected cell is B2, saying, “Move right two” moves the cursor to D2. If you then say, “Move down five,” the cursor moves to D7. Unfortunately, the highest number of steps you can move with one command is 20.

For longer trips, Press Page Up/Down displays the next/preceding full screen of the spreadsheet. In Excel, Press Alt Page Up shows you the next full screen to the left. Press Alt Page Down displays the next full screen to the right.

Return to cell A1 by saying, “Press Control Home.” Go to the extreme lower-right corner of the spreadsheet by saying, “Press Control End.”

Go to any cell by selecting it using the Go To dialog box described in the next section.

Boxing up a block of cells

In Excel, the F8 function key anchors a selection box in the current cell. Moving the cursor to another cell automatically selects the block of cells “between” them (in other words, a block of cells in which these two cells are opposing corners). For example, you could select the C3:E7 cell block as follows:

  1. Move to cell C3.

    Use any technique you want.

  2. Say, “Press F8.”

  3. Say, “Move down four.”

    Now the C3:C7 block is selected.

  4. Say, “Move right two.”

    Now the C3:E7 block is selected.

If a block of cells is surrounded by empty cells, you can select the whole block in Excel by saying, “Press control shift 8.”

Selecting rows and columns

To select an entire row or column in Excel, first move the cursor into the row or column. Then say, “Press control spacebar” to select the column, or “Press shift spacebar” to select the row.

How do you remember which does what? The words control and column both begin with the letter C.

Do you want column F with that?

After you select a block of cells, you can extend it by one cell in any direction by saying, “Press shift <direction> arrow.” So, for example, if you have selected all of column E, you can add column F by saying, “Press shift right arrow.”

This command works in many spreadsheets, including Excel, but not all.

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