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Multiple Cell Selection

asked 2017-09-22 13:49:26 +0100

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It's easy enough to select multiple ADJACENT cells with the keyboard and/or the mouse and/or trackpad. But what about NON-ADJACENT CELLS? Say you wan to select column A and column C, but not column B?

If it matters at all, I'm on MacOS Sierra. I've tried several combinations of CTRL, ALT, COMMAND, SHIFT, but to no avail. I want to be told that there is a way.

The question was asked at least once, but no upvotes and conflicting information elsewhere encourage me to ask again:

  1. CANNOT BE DONE

  2. CAN BE DONE

  3. CAN BE DONE

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answered 2017-09-22 17:15:57 +0100

PatrickT gravatar image

updated 2017-09-22 17:56:17 +0100

Here are 2 methods to select non-contiguous cells on MacOS Sierra.

The first method is to SELECT NON-CONTIGUOUS COLUMNS, e.g. A and C. As suggested by librebel:

  1. CLICK HEADER A
  2. PRESS COMMAND
  3. CLICK HEADER C

The second method is to SELECT NON-CONTIGUOUS CELLS, e.g. A1:A3 and C1:C3. Following up suggestions by Lupp:

  1. CLICK CELL A1
  2. PRESS SHIFT
  3. MOVE CURSOR DOWN TO A3
  4. RELEASE SHIFT
  5. PRESS AND HOLD COMMAND
  6. CLICK C1
  7. PRESS SHIFT (Again!)
  8. MOVE CURSOR DOWN TO C3
  9. RELEASE SHIFT AND COMMAND

Please corroborate my story, thanks.

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The crucial move I was missing is: RELEASE SHIFT, PRESS COMMAND, and later PRESS SHIFT AGAIN

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 17:17:32 +0100 )edit
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answered 2017-09-22 14:18:48 +0100

librebel gravatar image

Hello,

on my Ubuntu i can first select column A by clicking on the Header A, then hold CTRL and click Header C to select column C.

I expect that MacOS can do something equivalent at least.

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Excellent suggestion librebei. This indeed works as expected on MacOS Sierra. The modifier key is COMMAND rather than CTRL, but it basically works. Good to know. (I don't often select entire columns, which is why I hadn't tried it)

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 16:49:01 +0100 )edit

P.S. At this time I do not have enough points to upvote, but I'll be sure to do so as soon as my credit is high enough.

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 16:49:40 +0100 )edit
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answered 2017-09-22 14:25:53 +0100

Lupp gravatar image

updated 2017-09-22 14:26:35 +0100

I haven't access to a Mac, whatever OS version. There may be a specific problem with the modification keys.

I don't know a way to do multiselection without the mouse.

I can confirm for Win that the ways described in the source linked to the second variant in the OQ are basically still working.

There may have changed some (LibO) version dependent details concerning the effects of a second or further Ctrl+Click under specific circumstances. Negation of previous selection? As far as I can tell negation only takes place if the action starts with a selected cell or with a completely selected colomn or row. The start decides whether the action, subsequently touching previously selected and unselected cells as well, will persistently perform 'select' or 'unselect'. A distinguishing persisting 'negate' seems not to exist.

Hope you find specific answers concerning the Mav OS versions.

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Win: Behaviour unchanged insofar over a long time now. Presently: Win 10
LibO: Judging from my memory, behaviour unchanged insofar over a long time now. Presently LibO V 5.4.1

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-09-22 14:34:04 +0100 )edit

Thanks Lupp. Okay, so I don't actually have a mouse, which is perhaps why I had been struggling. But I discovered a way to do it based on the suggestions you made. STEP 1: Position the cursor on one cell, then PRESS AND HOLD SHIFT as you move the CURSOR for multiple celle selection. 2: RELEASE SHIFT. 3. PRESS AND HOLD COMMAND and Position the cursor on a non-contiguous cell and SELECT CELLS one at a time or PRESS SHIFT AND SELECT MULTIPLE CELLS.

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 16:59:09 +0100 )edit

Or to explain it differently, what WILL NOT WORK is attempting to select multiple non-contiguous cells WHILE HOLDING THE SHIFT KEY. YOU NEED TO RELEASE SHIFT in between actions on COMMAND. In my experiments anyhow (I'm on an out-of-the-box non-tweaked MacBook Sierra, so my experiments are unlikely to be biased by keyboard tweaks). Thanks again. Will upvote as soon as I have enough reps.

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 17:00:36 +0100 )edit

P.S. Just to be clear, the typical behavior of the COMMAND key on MacOS is like the CTRL key on Windows.

PatrickT gravatar imagePatrickT ( 2017-09-22 17:05:04 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2017-09-22 13:49:26 +0100

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Last updated: Sep 22 '17