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.

  • Please clarify the question.
    – harrymc
    Jan 27, 2011 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! Jun 13, 2014 at 20:50

10 Answers 10


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.

  • For Option A, What if I've selected two Columns of Data at the same time? For example, I've selected A2:A10 and C2:C10 and want to move this to 1) D2:20 and F2:F20 or 2) A12:A20 and C12:C20
    – Naveen
    Jun 17, 2017 at 11:27
  • Option B, with 4b, 5b, 6b is a brilliant, simple, keystroke-only way to copy formatting. Wonderful. Aug 29, 2018 at 19:57
  • The shift key doesn't need to be pressed in Step 4 of Option A. You can release it after Step 3 and press it again in Step 5, which I find to be easier.
    – bongbang
    Apr 5 at 15:38

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
  • Does this work with non-contiguous selections (eg. the example OP has given)?
    – mtone
    Nov 16, 2012 at 21:05
  • Yes, this does work with non-contiguous selections
    – Roger
    Dec 7, 2012 at 20:24
  • Works like a charm :-) Mar 21, 2013 at 10:14

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.


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)


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.

  • This seems to work for simple rectangular regions, but I can’t get it it copy irregular selections. Oct 7, 2017 at 21:38

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.

  • 1
    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. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:51

Insert another column and number all the rows sequentially (so that you can return to the original order). Filter the rows you want to move and colour them (eg yellow) Sort by colour. Move yellow rows on block. Sort back to original order using inserted column. Delete inserted column.
Excel Wizard.

  • 2
    The question appears to be asking about moving the selection, not the content. Mar 5, 2015 at 16:44

Select the section you want to move using Shift + Arrow and use the keyboard shortcut Alt + H + I + E to move the section to the desired location

  • 1
    I'm not sure what you mean, here. "Alt + H + I + E" suggests holding down those four keys simultaneously, which seems unlikely to be what you mean. Aug 5, 2015 at 10:55
  • 1
    This notation is used in Microsoft Office in general and Excel in particular to mean “Press and hold Alt. Press and release H. Press and release I. Press and release E. Then release Alt.” — which is often equivalent to Alt+H, Alt+I, Alt+E — but I can’t get it to work in Excel 2013.   Alt + H makes sure that you’re on the Home tab, and Alt + H + I is “Insert”, but then E just beeps. Oct 7, 2017 at 21:31

For a Mac: Select desired range of cells. Hover on any edge until the "hand" appears, left-click (and hold down), drag to new location, release left-click.


For me it seems like a simple solution: 1. selects the rows and columns you want to shift. 2. Hover mouse over any border of the selection till you see the directional arrows. 3. Left click and which holding drag to selection to the desired space in the excel sheet. Done!

  • Wouldn't that move the content?
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2016 at 19:09
  • Yes that would, and I believe that's what the user wants. Without doing the copy paste stuff. Apr 14, 2016 at 19:15
  • I am not sure this answers the question. It sounds like they want to simply drag & drop the selection, but then they say "I now need to select the similar form selection on another place in the worksheet", then use the word "move" later.
    – CharlieRB
    Apr 22, 2016 at 16:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.