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: Cell Movement After Enter.

Cell Movement After Enter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 18, 2013)

1

When you enter information in a cell, and then press the Enter key, Excel normally moves to the cell below the one in which you entered the information. You can configure Excel to move in a different direction after pressing Enter by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Move Selection After Enter check box is selected.
  5. Use the Direction drop-down list to specify the direction that Excel should move.
  6. Click OK.

There is one interesting thing about how Excel selects a new cell: If you press Shift+Enter (instead of Enter) when entering data, then Excel selects the cell in the opposite direction of what you have specified in step 4. Thus, if the Direction drop-down list is set to Down, and you press Shift+Enter, then Excel actually moves the selection upwards.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2096) 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: Cell Movement After 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

Using the INFO Field

The INFO field allows you to include all sorts of information in your document. Here's a quick overview of the field and what ...

Discover More

Center-column Footnotes

Ever want to change the formatting of your footnotes? This tip explains what you can and can't do in Word.

Discover More

Workbook Events

You can create macros that run whenever Excel detects a certain event happening within an entire workbook. This tip explains ...

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!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using an Input Mask

When you are entering information in a worksheet, it sure would be handy to have a way to "mask" the information being ...

Discover More

Limiting Choices in a Cell

Want to limit what a person can enter into a particular cell? You can use Excel's data validation feature to help enforce ...

Discover More

Combining Multiple Rows in a Column

Do you need to concatenate the contents of a range of cells in the same column? Here's a formula and a handy macro to make ...

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. 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 five less than 5?

2013-09-19 09:47:11

Kathie Turnbull

Unless I a ma crazy, I think I use to be able to set the Enter key to send the cursor to the next row, 1st column (maybe called "Home"). Did that use to be an option and is it still available?


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.