Here's our Microsoft Office Tip for.. July 10, 2000
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Range Shortcut
Whether you're still using the old format of entering two periods between the two coordinates of a range or entering the colon, you still must make two keystrokes. Personally, I find the Shift-; combination more tedious than the double period. Fear not--there's a shorter way. You can type just one period and Excel will convert it for you. If you'd like to try it out, select a blank cell and enter

=Sum(A1.A3)

(Notice that we've used only one period character between the two rangepoints A1 and A3.) When you press Enter, Excel will recognize the single period and convert it to a colon character.