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I know how to create or extend selections, i.e., via F8 or Shift F8. When I have created the desired selection, I would like to move that particular selection a few cells to the right and/or down.

I now need to select the similar form selection on another place in the worksheet. Does anyone know how I can do this?


Selection made on A1..B3, C3 and D5 and, for instance, made it Yellow. I now want to move this complete selection four places to the right, to E1..F3, H3 and I5 (to be able to make it another color).

It has nothing to do with the cut and paste to move cells.

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Please clarify the question. –  harrymc Jan 27 '11 at 12:09
Seriously not possible? Microsoft engineers out there, PLEASE PLEASE add this feature! Would be so nice to just be able to hold down control and drag around a selection! –  OverMachoGrande Jun 13 at 20:50

6 Answers 6

Can be done with Mac version of Excel, but not Windows version. Option-return moves section vertically; Option-tab moves selection horizontally; Add shift to reverse direction.

On a keyboard with a separate numeric keypad, use Option-return because Option-enter does nothing. On a MacBook, return and enter are the same and with the option key moves the selection as advertised. The most general answer therefore might be to use Option-return.

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You probably have to resort to macros to do this. I would assign a shortcut key to a macro that looks like this

Dim myRange As Range
Set myRange = Selection
myRange.Offset(0, 1).Select
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Does this work with non-contiguous selections (eg. the example OP has given)? –  mtone Nov 16 '12 at 21:05
Yes, this does work with non-contiguous selections –  Roger Dec 7 '12 at 20:24
Works like a charm :-) –  Jonas Heidelberg Mar 21 '13 at 10:14

I had the same exact question and my solution was in downloading ASAP utilites which is a set of tools used by macros. After the quick download you should see a new tab in Excel, "ASAP Utilities". From here there are two ways:

  1. Ctrl + Alt + M

    and, if for some weird reason that doesn't work:

  2. Select ASAP Utilities tab => Click Selection => Move or Resize Selected range (Ctrl + Alt + M)

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I normally would use paste special for making the similar range yellow. In your example, I would copy the currently selected range and then I will click on the first cell of new range and will go to paste special formats.

It will not only apply the previous formatting as it was in the previous range to the similar number of cells, but will also keep the new range selected and this way you can easily choose a new color. simpler is better, Hope it helps.

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Windows Microsoft Excel 2013, options available only for contiguous selections (say A10:A20):

Option A (moving any selection around):
1. Make your selection A10:A20.
2. Press Shift and keep it pressed.
3. Press until you reach your desired symmetrical column where you want your selection pattern cloned. (selection is now let's say A10:D20)
4. Press Tab while still keeping Shift pressed until it lands into D column (usually it's only once)
5. Press again and the selection will shrink from A to D until D is selected.
6. Release Shift.

You now have D10:D20 selected. Seems long but once you practice a bit it's lightning fast.

Option B (if only for formatting cloning), answered previously too:
1. Make your selection (A10:A20).
2. Ctrl + C (copy)
3. Let's say you want to clone formatting to D10:D20.
4a. Right click D10 cell.
5a. Paste special menu,
6a. Choose Formatting (or press R).

Or, if you want it faster, keyboard only, from point 3:
4b. Press Alt + E + S (paste special window opens)
5b. Press T (format option is selected)
6b. Press Enter and voila.

Hope this helps, I needed it as well to clone some conditional formatting faster.

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You can move a single selection shape to another location by right-clicking on selection, then select copy. To move the shape, select the upper-left cell of the destination, then click paste-special with something like comments or formats selected. If you are not using comments, selecting paste-special-comments is ideal since nothing happens except that the select region moves.

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I think you misunderstood the question - he is asking about selecting different cells, but the pattern of selected cells should be the same he created before; he does not want to copy or move any content from the first selection to the second. –  Jonas Heidelberg Mar 21 '13 at 8:51

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