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Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell.

Rodolfo knows that he can configure Excel to allow editing in both the Formula bar and the cell itself, but he wants to configure it so that editing can be done only in the cell, not in the Formula bar.

There is no way to do this in Excel. The closest you can come is to make sure that cell editing is enabled (so that editing can be done in either the Formula bar or the cell) and then hiding the Formula bar. You can hide the Formula bar by these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Formula Bar check box.
  5. Click on OK.

If you prefer, you can also programmatically turn off the Formula bar for a specific worksheet. You can do this by using the following two macros, which should be assigned to the code for the specific worksheet you want to affect. (You can display the proper code window by right-clicking the worksheet's tab and selecting View Code from the resulting Context menu.)

Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()
    Application.DisplayFormulaBar = False
End Sub
Private Sub Worksheet_Deactivate()
    Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True
End Sub

The first macro turns off the Formula bar when the worksheet is activated, and the second turns it back on when the worksheet is deactivated (when another worksheet is selected).

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3229) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell.

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Comments for this tip:

Morris Manning    04 Oct 2014, 23:26
The logic of programmatically controling worksheet data entry can be extended to the workbook and to other controls. I use this functionality to hide the ribbon to encourage users to use command and toggle buttons in a workbook rather than the native controls. For example:

In a module, ShowHideWorkbookControls, is the following code:

Option Explicit

Sub Workbook_Activate()
'Hides designated Workbook controls

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    Application.ExecuteExcel4Macro "SHOW.TOOLBAR(""Ribbon"",False)"
    'Application.DisplayFormulaBar = False
    'Application.DisplayStatusBar = Not Application.DisplayStatusBar
    'ActiveWindow.DisplayWorkbookTabs = False
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Sub Workbook_Deactivate()
'Unhides (Shows) designated Workbook controls

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    Application.ExecuteExcel4Macro "SHOW.TOOLBAR(""Ribbon"",True)"
    'Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True
    'Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
    'ActiveWindow.DisplayWorkbookTabs = True
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The above code is activated/deactivated with a toggle button on a sheet. The following code is in a module, btnToggleRibbonOnOff

Option Explicit

Sub btnToggleRibbon_OnOff()
'Displays/Hides Ribbon and toggles Label on btnToggleRibbon.

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    If Sheet3.btnToggleRibbonOnOff.Value = True Then
        Sheet3.btnToggleRibbonOnOff.Caption = "HIDE RIBBON"
        Call Workbook_Deactivate
        Sheet3.btnToggleRibbonOnOff.Caption = "SHOW RIBBON"
        Call Workbook_Activate
    End If
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The above macro is called by the toggle button (in this example) from Sheet3.

Private Sub btnToggleRibbonOnOff_Click()
    Call btnToggleRibbon_OnOff
End Sub


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