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Table of contents
Cells, Rows and Columns
Row vs Column
Operations and Functions on Cells
Select a Cell
Select Cell Range
Cell Content
Insert in Cell
Delete Cell Content
Delete Cell
To use File Handle
Copy and Paste Cell Content
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Introduction to Cells

Author Naman Kukreja
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Ashwin Goyal
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The people working with excel or even have worked with excel sometimes know the importance and meaning of cells. But don’t panic if you are new to Excel and don’t know much about cells. You are in the right place.

Suppose you want to insert data in the excel sheet, then where you would insert the data?

The answer to the above question is cells, which means you have to insert data in the cells. Like this, we will help you learn each concept related to the cell in Excel quickly while moving further with the blog, so without wasting any time, let's proceed with our topic.

Cells, Rows and Columns

Whenever you work in excel with data, whether analyzing, editing, deleting, inserting, etc. You will be working with cells as you can only enter data in the cell. These are the thousands of rectangular boxes visible on the excel worksheet.

One can understand it as the basic building unit of an excel worksheet. These are the intersections of rows and columns or the meeting point of rows and columns.

Rows are identified by numbers like 1,2,3,4. At the same time, columns are identified with alphabets like A, B, C, D. 

Each cell has its address, known as cell address using its row and columns. In the example shown below, the cell intersects column D and row 4, so the cell address is D4.

Note that when a cell is selected, its boundary is highlighted, and its name is also available in the name box on the top left corner.

You can select a range of cells simultaneously, known as cell range. It will be represented by the address of the first cell of the range followed by a semicolon, and after that, the last address of the cell looks at the examples below.




Row vs Column

Both of these properties are necessary for Excel as together they make a cell that is Excel's basic unit.

  • Row refers to the horizontal line, whereas column refers to the vertical line.
  • There are1,048,576 ranging from number 1 to 1,048,576. And there are 16,384 columns ranging from A to XFD.
  • You can select the entire row by pressing shift+ spacebar, whereas to select a column, you can press Ctrl + spacebar.
  • The default row has 25 pixels and 18.75 pt of height, and the default column has 64 pixels and 8.43 pt.
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Operations and Functions on Cells

We can perform different operations on the cell using formulas, inserting text, editing text, and much more here. We will discuss all of them.

Select a Cell

You have to select a cell to perform any operation.

  • You can select a cell by clicking on it. You will know it is selected if its border is now highlighted, like the example below. We have selected E5.

Select Cell Range

Sometimes you want to work with more cells together. In these types of cases, we select a cell range.

  • You can select a cell range by dragging the mouse to the required cell. And it will be selected until you click on another cell. In the example below, we have selected the range from B2: C9.

Cell Content

The information you enter in a cell is known as cell content. These can be of any type like text, functions, formatting, formulas.

  • Text: These contain normal text such as dates, numbers, letters.

  • Formatting attributes: cells contain attributes that help better format the cell content like dates, percentages, etc. You even can set the background color according to your wish.

  • Formulas and Function: You can perform different functions and formulas to calculate cell values. In the example shown below, we add the value of each cell in the range B2:B7, and the result is displayed in B8.

Insert in Cell

We need to insert it in the cell to move forward with our task.

  • First, select a cell by clicking on it, and after that, enter the data and press enter like in the example below. We have used F6 and joined hello.

Delete Cell Content

Sometimes we need to delete the cell's content because either it was not correct or we have to enter new content in place of that.

  • Select the cell(s) you want to delete. In the example shown, we have selected the A4:D4.

  • On the Home tab, select the clear command, then explicit content.

  • Now your cell data will be deleted.

Delete Cell

You should understand that there is a difference between deleting a cell’s content and the entire cell as after deleting the cell’s content, the cell will still be there but empty, but when the whole cell is deleted, the cell also gets deleted, and the space is covered up as all the lower ones move upwards.

  • Select the cell(s) you want to delete. In the example shown, we have selected A4:D4.

  • On the ribbon, select the delete button.

  • Now the cell will be deleted.

To use File Handle

In cases when you are filling similar data in the adjacent cell, the filehandle can be of great use.

  • Select the cell you want to use and hover over it until a plus sign appears on its lower right border.

  • Now drag it till you require the same content.

  • Now the same content will be copied.

Copy and Paste Cell Content

Copy and paste reduce time significantly. We can do it when we need to use the same content multiple times.

  • Select the cell(s) you want to copy.

  • Then select Copy from the ribbon or ctrl+ c on your keyboard.

  • Now select the cell(s) where you want to copy.

  • Then paste it or Ctrl + V from your keyboard.


1. What are the directions of selecting cell range?
Cell range can be selected horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

2. What is the difference between deleting cells and deleting cells content?
When we delete cell content, the cell becomes empty, but when we delete the cell, the space is covered as all the cells below it move upwards.

3. How can you sort your data horizontally?
Go to Ribbon/ Data/ Sort there. You can select the option of Left to Right.

4. What is the shortcut to enter the current date in a cell?
Press Ctrl + ;(semicolon) on your keyboard.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we have extensively discussed the introduction to cells in MS Excel, along with rows and columns, cell range, features, and operations on cells like inserting, deleting, copying, selecting, etc.

We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding cells in excel and if you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Code studio. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow.

 “Happy Coding!”

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