The cell concept is used in multiple ways. It can be a room or a box, either physical or symbolic. Active, for its part, is something that has the capacity for action.
The notion of active cell is used in the field of computing. In spreadsheets, an active cell is one that is open for data inclusion, deletion, or modification.
Also called selected cell (or, in English, selected cell or active cell), these cells can be distinguished from the others from some graphic reference. Its limits, in this context, are often marked.
According to DigoPaul, the active cell, in short, is the one with which the user is working. Take the case of the Microsoft Excel program. The spreadsheets in this software are divided into columns (identified by letters) and rows (which can be recognized by number). Cells are located at the intersection of columns and rows. If we place the mouse or mouse cursor in cell B3 (column B and row 3) and click, it will become an active cell. This means that we can add, change or remove data.
Starting from the active cell, it is possible to perform various operations. An active cell can be the starting point for applying a formula, for example. When the user clicks on another cell, it makes this new cell active and causes the first cell to be deselected.
One of the fundamental points that users who are just beginning to take their first steps through the world of computing and, more precisely, spreadsheets must understand is that not every selected cell is an active cell. Confusion can arise from the moment in which we learn that an active cell must always be selected, especially since there are several ways to do so.
Selecting a cell means including it in a range with which we want to do one or more well-determined operations; For example, a basic action can be to change the alignment of your content, for which you need to select it and then:
* execute the appropriate function using a button located on a toolbar;
* press a certain key combination to activate a shortcut;
* Access the alignment options by right-clicking on the cell.
As we become more familiar with a spreadsheet program, we begin to perform more advanced and complex tasks, and this is when the active cell becomes more important, especially when combined with a series of selected cells. As in the process of learning mathematics in elementary school, in this case addition and subtraction are the first operations we come across, and they can be very useful.
To add the values of many cells and store the result in another, spreadsheets we offer functions very easy to use, consisting of the active cell indicate the name of it and the range of cells you want to add; from the moment the user confirms said entry, this cell will show the result of the sum always updated.
At present, the normal thing is that the programs allow us to select the range of cells that we wish to include in the operation with the mouse itself, that is, by hand, while we write the formula; this saves us a bit of time and may be more accessible to less experienced users. Anyway, it is always possible to write the names of the first and last cells (for example “B3: J5”).