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 the F1 Key.

Disabling the F1 Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 4, 2022)

1

The F1 key is used to summon forth Excel's help system. Depending on how you type, you may find the F1 key bothersome. For instance, if you meant to press F2 to edit the contents of a cell, but you instead press F1, this can throw a real crimp in your editing stride. For this reason, you may look for an easy way to disable the F1 key.

One definitely low-tech solution is to simply remove the key. They F1 keycap, on most keyboards used with desktop systems, is relatively easy to remove. If it is a bit stubborn, you may need to slip the edge of a small screwdriver under the cap to help pry it loose.

If you don't like doing this type of keyboard surgery, you can disable the key through the use of a macro. This macro could be included in your Personal workbook file, as a part of the Open event, so that it runs every time that Excel is started. The macro should contain a single command:

Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""

The OnKey method is only triggered, in this case, when the F1 key is pressed. This usage results in the F1 key being ignored. If you wanted the F1 key to run some different procedure, you could use it as follows:

Application.OnKey "{F1}", "MyProcedure"

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2089) 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 the F1 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Renaming a Document

Want to rename a document that is already on your hard drive? You can, of course, do it in Windows, but you can also do ...

Discover More

Unable to Set Margins in a Document

If you find that you cannot set the margins in a document, chances are good that it is due to document corruption. Here's ...

Discover More

MRU Files Won't Display

Excel provides a quick way to access the workbooks you've most recently worked on. This tip addresses how to display a ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 seven minus 2?

2022-06-04 11:18:31

Pieter de la Court

Dear Allen,

This ExcelTip is a great solution for me, as I have had a lot of trouble with the F1 key since getting a new laptop.
However, your instruction does not have the full clarity and completeness that we have come to expect from you.
Where to put this command? Where do I find the Personal Macro Workbook? How do I get it into the Open event?
I had to google these questions before I could implement the command:
1. If not already available, create the Personal Macro Workbook by creating a random macro, selecting "Personal Macro Workbook" under "Store macro in". This macro can later be deleted.
2. Save the workbooks (all) and close Excel.
3. Reopen Excel, go to VBA editor (Alt-F11), open the "PERSONAL.XLSB" "This workbook" page.
4. Write the code:
Sub Workbook_Open()
Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""
End Sub
5. Save and close the workbook.


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.