Repeat Selection add-in: select alternate rows or columns without holding Ctrl

Sometimes you may need to make a recurrent selection – shade alternate rows, or every other column, or a custom pattern, etc. Holding down Ctrl and handpicking cells is not an option for large spreadsheets with thousands of rows. MS Excel allows recurrent selections via VBA programming or conditional formatting. But there is a faster and less painstaking method.

The Repeat Selection tool helps select cells in any recurrent pattern:

  • Shade alternate rows or columns
  • Make checkerboard selections
  • Set any selection pattern and repeat it throughout a range

(Note: the video may not reflect the latest upgrades. Please use the guide below.)

 

Add 'Repeat Selection' to Excel 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007

Works in: Microsoft Excel 2016 – 2007, desktop Office 365 (both 32 bit and 64 bit).

Download XLTools Add-in

Repeat selection ribbon button

 

Learn your way around:

XLTools Repeat Selection Feature overview

 

How to select every Nth row (alternate rows)

Suppose you need to select every 3rd row in a table. Set the shading pattern for every third row and repeat the pattern throughout the entire range:

  1. Select the first 3rd row in your shading pattern, e.g. 'Name C'.
  2. Click the ‘Repeat Selection’ button on XLTools tab.
  3. Define the range where you want to repeat the shading pattern, e.g. range A2:K15.
    Tip: find the starting cell in the range. Since 'Name C' is the 3rd row – then the first row is 'Name A' which begins in A2.
  4. Click OK > Done, every 3rd row is selected.
  5. Now you can delete, copy, color, etc. all these rows at once.

How to select every other row in Excel

 

How to select every Nth column (alternate columns)

Suppose you need to select every 2nd column in a table. Set the shading pattern for every second column and repeat the pattern throughout the entire range:

  1. Select the first 2nd column in your shading pattern, e.g. 'Task B' column.
  2. Click the ‘Repeat Selection’ button on XLTools tab.
  3. Define the area where you want to repeat the shading pattern, e.g. B1:K15.
    Tip: find the starting cell in the range. Since 'Task B' is the 2nd column – then first column is 'Task A' which begins in B1.
  4. Click OK > Done, every 2nd column is selected.
  5. Now you can delete, copy, color, etc. all these rows at once.

How to select every other column in Excel

 

How to select cells in a checkerboard pattern

Recurrent selection does not necessarily mean shading entire rows or columns. You can select a recurrent pattern of specific cells – e.g. a checkerboard pattern. Follow the same steps to make any recurrent seletion:

  1. Hold the Ctrl button and select the first two diagonal cells in the table, e.g. B2 and C3.
  2. Click ‘Repeat Selection’.
  3. Define the area where you want apply the pattern, e.g. B2:K15.
  4. Click OK > Done, cells are shaded in a checkerboard pattern.
  5. Now you can color or format these cells at once.

Select cells in checkerboard pattern in Excel

 

Any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comment below.

 

Any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comment below.

2 Responses to Repeat Selection add-in: select alternate rows or columns without holding Ctrl

  1. Jon says:

    Does it HAVE to select the entire row? Cant it select only certain cells within the row?

    • Maria Balobanova says:

      Hello Jon,

      Sure, you can select only certain cells in any pattern you want. To do so, please follow the same principle as described in the tip for checkerboard pattern above. Thanks for your interest in XLTools!

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