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How to move around big lists fast

Today we're going to look at a tip for moving through a large list. So if you have a large list in Excel...hundreds, or thousands, or maybe tens of thousands of rows, it's just not practical to scroll through that list to get to the bottom, or scroll through that list to get to the top. It's just going to take way too long.

So wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to just jump to the bottom or jump to the top of that list? Well, there is. You just have to learn the keyboard shortcut.

Let's take a look.

So here we are in Excel, and if I start scrolling, you can see this is a big list. In fact, this list is over 30,000 rows. So it's just not practical for me to scroll to the top or the bottom of that list manually.

So, what I can do instead, is I can put my cursor here on A1, press Control, and the down arrow, and I'll go right to the bottom. Control-up arrow, right back to the top—doesn't take any time at all.

Now I can also press Control and the right arrow and go over to the right edge of the list, and Control-left arrow, and go back to the left edge.

So, basically, I can just ride down the bottom of a column of text, ride over across the row, ride back up to the top, and ride back over. I like to think of this as like "riding the slide." Just hop into a column full of text or numbers and, using Control-down arrow, you can go all the way to the bottom; Control-right arrow, all the way to the edge; Control-up, all the way back to the top; and Control-left, all the way back over to the corner.

It's important to understand what will happen if your list has blanks in it. So if I take a name here, and delete it, and then I go back to A1 and press Control-down arrow, you'll see that my cursor stops when it gets to that empty cell. Press Control-down arrow again, we jump over the empty cell and stop when we get to the first cell that's got content. Press Control-down arrow again, now we go to the bottom. Same thing, on the way back up. So anytime you have a blank or an empty cell in your list, you're going to stop if you use this shortcut. So it's important to understand that.

In a future tip, we'll take a look at how to extend the same idea into selecting big parts of a very large list, all in one step. See you there.

Course 
Author 
Dave Bruns

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