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: Disabling a Function Key.

Disabling a Function Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 28, 2017)

Jean asked if there is a way to disable the F1 key in Excel. It seems that she frequently presses F1 when she means to press F2, and doing so is bothersome.

The only way to disable a key such as this is to create a macro. The following macro will do the trick quite nicely:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""
End Sub
Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(CANCEL As Boolean)
    Application.OnKey "{F1}"
End Sub

Actually, there are two macros here. The first one executes whenever the workbook is opened, and the second is executed when the workbook is closed. In the case of the first macro, the OnKey method traps every keypress of F1 and cancels it. The macro that runs when the workbook closes restores the normal operation of the F1 key.

These macros can be placed in a given workbook, in which case they will only apply while that workbook is open. If you want them to apply at all times when using Excel, store the macros in the Personal workbook. (The use of this workbook has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips. You can also find information on it in the Excel Help system which, ironically, is invoked by pressing the F1 key.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1990) 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: Disabling a Function Key.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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