perhaps a stupid question on setting ranges in Excel 2019, Office or Microsoft 365

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Highlighted
Occasional Visitor

Perhaps my memory is faulty - i'm getting on in years (57) so it's a possibility. I believe that I used to  set the start of a range by pressing the '.' key. i would then use arrow keys to move the cursor and the range would illuminate- (showing it had been selected). i would then enter ')' to complete the formula. so for example, suppose i want the results of the computation =sum(BS5:BS16) in the cell BU18.

 

historically, i believe i would have (in cell BU18) entered: =sum(

i then would have moved the cursor using the arrow keys to cell BS16. i would have hit '.', i then would have used arrow up to highlight cells BS15 to BS5.

 

since i've been working from home, i'm using the latest excel (i believe i was using 2013 (only recently had transitioned to Office Premium Pro 2016 at the office). i purchased a new pc and installed the latest version of office - Microsoft 365. To my surprise, '.' does not set the beginning of the range. in order to accomplish something similar, i use ':' - but this doesn't have the same effect.

 

Yes - i know that there are more efficient shortcuts to do this. I'm more wondering why this doesn't work - whether there is a setting which has changed somewhere. Or whether i'm just declining intellectually.

 

Separately, i've been deviled by "there's a problem with the clipboard" in excel. more often than not, subsequent to that error message appearing, the cursor disappears - both the selected cell as well as the row and column headers. Excell still functions - the active cell field in the upper left shows the active cell, but it's almost unworkable. in order to fix, i generally have to save the offending spreadsheet and re-open it.

 

Any thoughts on these topics would be very much appreciated.  

1 Reply
Highlighted

@wbmagee 

As for the dot - I could be wrong, that feature never was documented. But used for years as compatibility with Lotus 1-2-3. In modern Excel it doesn't work any more, I guess due to introduction of new data types where the dot is used for other purposes.

Navigation - you may type =sum(  after that move cursor on the cell and Ctrl+Shift+Arrow to select entire range, Enter.