Keyboard shortcuts are a fantastic way to save time. But when you accidentally hit a keyboard shortcut you didn’t know existed, they can be infuriating.

More than once, I’ve run into someone for whom Excel seemed to be going haywire. Any time they used the arrow keys in Excel, cells would be selected. Any time they clicked on a worksheet with the mouse, all the cells between the active cell and the cell they clicked on would be selected.

To be honest, this baffled me at first, and I usually suggested a reboot to solve the problem. But it turns out, this is called Extend Mode, and the F8 key turns it on and off, allowing you to use only a single mouse click or your arrow keys to select cells.

So if you’re experiencing the same problem, just press F8 on your keyboard to turn off Extend Mode.

F8 Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

  • F8 – select cells with only a single mouse click or only the arrow keys
  • Shift + F8 – add a non-adjacent cell to your selection
  • Alt + F8 – opens the Macro dialog box