A cell may refer to any of the following:
1. A cell is the intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet that starts with cell A1. In the following example, a highlighted cell is shown in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. D8 (column D, row 8) is the highlighted cell that's also known as the cell address and cell reference. Any modifications made while this cell is highlighted will be limited to this cell in the worksheet.
Here, D8 is the active cell. In the formula bar, you can see that the cell content is =SUM(D2:D5). This formula evaluates the result of $162.00 by calculating the sum of the values stored in cells D2 through D5.
How can you determine the cell reference?
While moving in a spreadsheet with the keyboard arrow keys or by clicking a cell with the mouse, the cell reference (cell address) is updated. Also, the column and row headers are highlighted. In the picture above, you can see the "D" column, and the "8" row is highlighted in yellow.
How do the rows and columns increase?
When you first open the spreadsheet, the active cell is always placed in the first column (column "A"). As you move to the right, the columns are increased by going through the English alphabet. So, pressing the right arrow key once moves the active cell into the "B" column, pressing the right arrow again moves the active cell into the "C" column, etc. When you get to the last letter of the alphabet ("Z"), the columns become two letters with the "AA" column, then "AB," "AC," etc. After getting to "AZ," the columns become "BA," "BB," "BC," etc. If you were to get to "ZZ," the next column would increase to three letters and start with "AAA," then "AAB," "AAC," etc.
Rows are increased numerically, starting with the first row of number "1." Pressing the down arrow key would increase the row to "2," and pressing it again would increase the row to "3."
See our spreadsheet definition for further information on using spreadsheets.
How to move between cells
To move between cells in a spreadsheet, click the cell where you want to move to or use the arrow keys to move up, down, left, and right one cell. You can also use the page up and page down keys to move one page at a time.
Other keyboard shortcuts
In addition to moving between cells using the arrow keys, you can also use the following keyboard shortcuts.
- F5 - The F5 function key lets you go to a specific cell. For example, you could press F5, type "n9" and press Enter to go to cell N9.
- Tab - Press Tab moves one cell to the right.
- Shift+Tab - Move one cell to the left.
- Home - Move to the first cell in the row.
- Ctrl+Home - Go to the first cell in the spreadsheet (A1).
- Ctrl+End - Go to the last cell with data in the worksheet.
3. Cell is another name for a cell phone.
4. A cell refers to a unit of data that is transferred over an ATM network.