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: Weird Actions for Arrow Keys and Enter.

Weird Actions for Arrow Keys and Enter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 2, 2018)

Roberta wrote to say that her arrow keys and Enter key were not working as she expected in Excel. It seems that they didn't move to the next cell, as she expected, but moved to the "next page."

Without a complete examination of the system, this could be caused by any number of conditions. First, if the worksheet is protected in some manner, it could be that the keys are working exactly as they should. What could be happening is that the next unprotected cell—where you enter your input—is being selected, and that cell happens to be on the next page.

If the problem occurs in brand new, blank worksheets, it could be due to a macro that is running when you first start Excel. If you start Excel without any add-ins or hidden workbooks, it may solve the problem. (The online help system, as well as past issues of ExcelTips, includes information on how to start Excel so that add-ins and hidden workbooks don't load.)

You could also check the status of your Scroll Lock key. If it is selected (a light on your keyboard should indicate if it is), then Excel can appear to do some very funny things when it comes to moving from cell to cell.

Finally, make sure that you check the configuration settings within Excel that control how the Enter key works. You get to these by choosing Tools | Options and clicking on the Edit tab. The Move Selection After Enter setting controls what happens whenever you press Enter.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2071) 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: Weird Actions for Arrow Keys and Enter.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Positioning Headers and Footers

Headers and footers can add a finishing touch to your printed documents. Here's how you can position those headers and ...

Discover More

Standardizing Note Reference Placement

Want to modify where an endnote or footnote reference appears in relation to the punctuation in a sentence? Here's a way ...

Discover More

Editing PivotTables without Underlying Data

If you ever try to edit a PivotTable and get an error that tells you that the "underlying data was not included," it can ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Speeding Up Large Worksheets

If your worksheet gets large enough, you may notice a severe slowdown when it is recalculated. This tip provides some ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Starting Date

When keeping track of dates, internally, Excel uses special date serial numbers that are based upon a specific day in the ...

Discover More

Selecting an Entire Worksheet

While editing, you may need to select everything in a worksheet. Excel provides three easy ways you can accomplish this.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.