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Really Delete in Excel

Monday, December 14th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

When you work with MS Excel do you use the Ctrl + End feature – you know, the one that takes you to the very last column and row of your data?

Have you ever tried to use this one and found yourself way beyond the data?

I have and when I got there I found myself thinking that I hadn’t had data in the part of the worksheet in quite a while… so why is Excel taking me way out here?

The answer is as simple as it is illogical to me. Excel takes me way beyond the current data because once upon a time there was data out there and Excel still remembers that fact.

Why Excel doesn’t “forget” it when I delete data is not something I can explain but we can force the situation so that the Ctrl + End trick is actually useful to us again.

Here’s the deal, in essence we need to delete the information and immediately save the file.

What was that? You deleted that information ages ago?

Yeah, I know but if we want the Ctrl + End to work will have to do it again.

  • Simply highlight any cells, rows or columns beyond the area currently containing data that were previously being used.
  • Right-click and choose Delete.
  • Save immediately. (If you don’t then Excel will still consider the cells, rows or columns to be a part of the data range and Ctrl + End won’t change its behavior at all.)

That’s really all there is to it.

Saving immediately after deleting seems to tell Excel that you really, really, really mean it and that Excel should just forget that those cells were ever used for anything.


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