Software optimize

Using Excel's GoTo feature

Use Excel's GoTo feature (F5) to access out-of-the-way data -- and then use the same feature to return to your starting point.

Getting around a large worksheet can be a pain. Scrolling is, at best, just a good way to get lost. Excel's GoTo feature (F5) is the answer. Simply press F5 to select any cell or range in the worksheet. It works great and most users learn about it early in their training.

The problem is getting back. If you think cruising around a worksheet without GoTo power is tedious, imagine trying to get back. GoTo doesn't even leave breadcrumbs to follow!

Fortunately, GoTo won't leave you stranded if you know the right buttons to push. GoTo remembers where you were before you transported across worksheet space. To get back, simply press F5 and then Enter.

An easy example is in order:

  1. Select any cell in an Excel worksheet -- A1 is fine.
  2. Press F5 and enter a cell far, far away, such as Z572, in the Reference control. If the worksheet has named ranges, choose one of those. The feature will work either way. Click OK, and Excel highlights the specified cell or selected range.
  3. When you're ready to return to the starting cell, press F5 and then click OK. Excel returns you to the cell selected (A1) before you made your GoTo jump.

Just remember that this is a one-time hop -- the feature remembers only the last GoTo sequence.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

4 comments
FullyFamous
FullyFamous

Sounds almost what I've been looking for. I'd like a way to "go back" from a current cell, to the previous cell in that row where an entry has been made. Is this what I'm looking for, or is there another way?

Level
Level

I guess I've never worked on spreadsheets large enough to see a need for F5. But I do like Ctrl-End for jumping to the last populated cell.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Just remember that the return trip only remembers the last jump -- you can't use it for several jumps. If you just need one quick jump -- this will work great for you.