Edit cell contents

By default, you can edit the contents of a cell directly in the cell. You can also edit the contents of a cell in the formula bar (formula bar: A bar at the top of the Excel window that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. Displays the constant value or formula stored in the active cell.).

  1. To place the contents of a cell in editing mode, do one of the following:
    • Double-click the cell that contains the data that you want to edit.
    • Click the cell that contains the data that you want to edit, and then click anywhere in the formula bar.

This positions the insertion point in the cell or formula bar.

Tip    To move the insertion point to the end of the cell contents, click the cell and press F2.

  1. To edit the cell contents, do any of the following:
    • To delete characters, press BACKSPACE, or select them, and then press DELETE.
    • To insert characters, click where you want to insert them, and then type the new characters.
    • To replace specific characters, select them, and then type the new characters.
    • To turn on Overtype mode so that existing characters are replaced by new characters while you type, press INSERT.

 Note   When Overtype mode is turned on, OVR is displayed on the status bar. Overtype mode can be turned on or off only when you are in editing mode.

  • To start a new line of text at a specific point in a cell, click where you want to break the line, and then press ALT+ENTER.
  1. To enter your changes, press ENTER.

Tip    Before you press ENTER, you can cancel any changes that you made by pressing ESC.

 Notes 

  • A cell may display ##### when it contains data that has a number format and that is wider than the column width. To increase the width of the column, on the Format menu, point to Column, and then click AutoFit Selection.
  • To display multiple lines of text inside a cell, on the Format menu, click Cells. Click the Alignment tab, and then select the Wrap text check box. If the text is a single long word, the characters won't wrap. You can widen the column or reduce the font size to see all the text. If not all text is visible after you wrap the text, you may need to adjust the height of the row. On the Format menu, point to Row, and then click AutoFit.
  • If you don't want to edit the cell contents directly in the cell, you can turn this option off. On the Tools menu, click Options. On the Edit tab, clear the Edit directly in cell check box. When the Edit directly in cell check box is cleared, you can edit cell contents only in the formula bar.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003