Hi fellow Excel Addict,
Thanks for joining me today for another time-saving tip that I hope you can use. If you missed Tuseday's tip that showed how to 'Split Your Data Using 'Text to Columns' Without Destroying the Original Data', you can read it here.
I hope you'll find that today's tip is helpful and saves you lots of time.
Please feel free to share it with anyone you think could use a little Excel help.
Take care and keep on Excelling,
Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)
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Across-Then-Down Data Input Techniques
Summary: When you input data into Excel, the direction is usually down the column. You enter a value, press Enter, enter another value, press Enter and repeat the process. Simple. However, when you want to enter data across the rows, it gets a little awkward. Here are a couple of techniques that may help ease the process for you.
Details: By default, when you enter a value in a cell and press Enter, the active cell moves down. You can change the default direction that the active cell moves after pressing Enter but most people prefer the 'move down' option.
However, when you need to input data going across the rows, instead of pressing Enter each time or changing the 'move selection direction' option to Right, you can press the Tab key after each entry to move one cell to the right. That's pretty easy right?
But when you get to the last column you need to get back to first column and down to the next row. No problem. Just reach for the mouse, scroll to the left and select the cell in the first column? Or you maybe you prefer to use the arrow keys to move to that cell?
Well, if you are inputting data into worksheet with a large number of columns, scrolling back to the left and selecting the next row down, over and over can get a bit tedious and frustrating.
So, here's a couple of other techniques you can try.
The 'Tab Enter' Technique
When you need to enter data across a row, instead of pressing Enter after each input, you can press the Tab key to move one cell to the right. When you get to the last column, press Enter. Excel remembers which column you started 'tabbing' from and automatically jumps back to that column and drops one row down.
Go ahead. Give it a try now.
In a blank sheet, select cell B5. Type 1, press Tab, type 2, press Tab, type 3, press Tab, type 4, press Tab, type 5, press Tab, finally press Enter.
Notice that the active cell jumped back to cell B6 (i.e. one cell below the starting cell).
As you can see, this makes it much easier whenever you need to input data across and then down...especially when you are entering numbers. Left hand on the Tab key and right hand on the keypad. Then it's just... entry, Tab, entry, Tab, entry, Tab, Enter, entry, Tab, entry, Tab, entry, Tab, Enter, etc...
If you make a mistake with your input values,simply press Shift + Tab to go back to the previous cell on the same line.
The 'Selection Tab' Technique
Another similar technique for entering data across rows is to first highlight the input range. After each entry, press the Tab key. When you get to the last column, pressing the Tab key will now jump the 'active cell' back to the next row in the column where you started 'tabbing' from. So, with this technique, it's entry, Tab, entry, Tab, entry, Tab, etc.... As before, you can press Shift+Tab to reverse direction.
Maybe you use a different technique. As you know, with Excel, there are often multiple ways to do the same task. Let me know what technique you use.
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