Moving Around Excel

It is possible to move around a worksheet using different keys.

Most people use the arrow key and some people use the mouse. The other options are the Tab key and the Enter key.

Each key actually has a different effect.

The arrow keys simply move the focus around the sheet. An individual press of an arrow key will move the focus up, down, left or right from the field that was in focus. This is useful if you are processing in a small area of a few fields but is not recommended when entering more than one row of data.

If an arrow key is used to move focus to the next field required and then the Enter key is used, the focus will move down one row but not change columns. So, if several rows of similar data is being entered (such as in the EPC Register), arrowing across to enter data in each field and then pressing Enter at the end of the row brings focus to the field below the last column and not the first column where the next row of data will be added.

It is possible to use the mouse to change focus. The problems with using the mouse are varied. It is possible to re-create focus on the field and accidentally overwrite the data previously entered; it is distracting to move from the keyboard to the mouse and back again.

Better to focus on the data input accuracy and use the mouse as infrequently as possible.

If the mouse is double clicked in a cell, focus moves to the point in the cell where the cursor is. So, if you click in a cell with +12+1315 at some point in the middle and then select another cell, Excel will prepare to put the new cell’s reference into the formula that was selected at the point within that formula that was selected.

Excel data entry 1

In the example, if the cell is double clicked and then cell reference D17 is selected, the formula changes to +12+D171315 but the about (i.e. what is visible) becomes 12. Double click should only be used to edit formulas in the formula bar. Using the mouse to change fields in data entry is not recommended.

The Enter key will move the focus down one row from the last aggregated focus. So, using the arrow keys or mouse to move focus from field to field and then pressing Enter means that the aggregate focus was only one field.

When entering data along rows with multiple columns (such as the EPC Register), pressing the Tab key to move along the row maintains aggregate focus from the first field to the last. Pressing Enter at the end of a row having used Tab to move along the row puts focus on the first column but one row down. (i.e. the beginning of the next row).This makes data entry much more convenient. To go back one column using Tab, press and hold the Tab key and then hit the Shift key.