Excel Quick Tips – Selecting Non-Adjacent Cells in Excel on Mac

Worksheets are not the easiest to deal with. For instance, when it comes to selecting values in a column, most people will start from the top, then drag it down to the last cell. This is right, but what if you have hundreds or thousands of rows, it will take much of your time, and even get worse when selecting non-adjacent cells in excel. How could you handle this issue? Please read on, then you can arrive at the answer.

how to select non adjacent cells in excel on mac

How to select non adjacent cells in Excel on Mac

What is a range in excel?

A range is simply a block of cells in a worksheet that is selected or highlighted. Similarly, a range can be a block of cell references, which are entered as an argument for a function, used to create a graph, or used to bookmark data.

Ranges can be categorized as:

  • Contiguous range: these are a group of highlighted cells which are adjacent to each other.
  • Non-contiguous range: these are 2 or more separate blocks of cells that are separated by rows or columns, as shown by the ranges A1 to A5 and C1 to C5.

How to select non-adjacent cells in excel on Mac

The most common way of highlighting a block of adjacent cells is by far the most common way of selecting more than one cell. A problem arises when the location of the cells you want to highlight is not beside each other.

However, it is still possible to select such a non-adjacent cell in excel using your keyboard or the mouse. Also, it is much easier to use both the keyboard and the mouse. Here is the procedure.

  • Click on the first cell in your range to highlight it. This makes it an active cell.
      How to select non adjacent cells in Excel on MacHow to select non adjacent cells in Excel on Mac
  • Press and hold the COMMAND on the keyboard and click on the cells you want to highlight. When you have highlighted all the cells, the next step is to release the COMMAND (⌘) key. Don’t click anywhere else as this will clear all the cells you’ve highlighted.

    How to select non adjacent cells in Excel on Mac

    How to select non adjacent cells in Excel on Mac

  • If you want to highlight new cells, then press and hold the COMMAND (⌘) key again without moving the cursor, and then click on the additional non-adjacent cells in excel you wish to add on the selection.

Something you have to bear in mind

Remember, you can start by highlighting a range of cells before holding down the COMMAND (⌘) key, especially if the cells are in the same column.

In case you are using your keyboard, you will need to use the FN + Control + left arrow on the Mac keyboard.

Keep in mind that the MAC keyboard differs from the windows one. So if it’s your first time on the MAC, you’ll notice the Alt and Ctrl are not there. Instead, special Macintosh keys, including ⌘ have significant roles. Typically, the windows Ctrl key is also present on Mac, but its function is different. Its equivalent in MAC is COMMAND (⌘).

The best way on how to select non-adjacent cells in excel on mac is understanding that the Windows Ctrl-key combos well correspond to ⌘-key sequences on the Mac keyboard.


Highlighting non-adjacent cells in excel on your MAC has been made easier with the guide above. If you follow each step, you’ll definitely achieve the best outcome. 

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