Streamlining Data Entry

Sometimes filling a sheet full of data can be slow and painful. It’s the navigating between cells that slows me down.
You know how it goes, type the First Name, (arrow right), (arrow right), (arrow right), type the Last Name, (arrow down), (arrow left), (arrow left), (arrow left), type the Occupation, etc…

Maybe you’ve resorted to using the mouse for field navigation.
Maybe you’ve even set up sheet protection so the cursor automatically moves between unlocked cells.

Here is another way.

If you have a bunch of cells selected, you can press Enter (or Tab!) to move between them (it cycles through them).
The trick is in the order that you select them.
So if you have 5 cells:
Click Cell 2
While holding down the Ctrl key click Cell 3, Cell 4, Cell 5 then Cell 1

If you want to save that selection for later, make it a Named Range. Excel remembers the order you clicked and saves that as part of the Name.

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4 thoughts on “Streamlining Data Entry

  1. Rob

    You’ve been on a roll this week

    I’ve known about the Ctrl Select and data Entry bit for a couple of years but the named range remembering the order is great.

    Good pick up.


  2. If the data is all in the same row, I suggest changing the references to absolute column, relative row (maybe even next row from where cursor is). Use a simple name, like “a”. Now, after filling in the 5 cells in that row, F5 to “a” and you’re ready for the next row’s entry!

    Bob Umlas

  3. Nice post Rob. :)

    Any order will be fine, the trick is to select your first cell as the last selection. Then the order of the Enter/Tab step will be in whatever default direction/process the workbook has setup.

    Nice to see the little tricks posted. :)

    Zack Barresse

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