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 November 23, 2019)

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

Spell-Check Won't Work

Having problems making spell check work on a portion of your document? There are two primary causes for such an ...

Discover More

Numbering on New Paragraph Doesn't Work as Expected

The Numbering feature in Word can be a bit tricky to navigate. Sometimes it works as it should, and other times it seems ...

Discover More

Creating a Multi-Worksheet Report

It is not uncommon to use Excel to print out regular reports. If your report needs to span multiple worksheets, here's ...

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)

Checking for a Value in a Cell

Need to figure out if a cell contains a number so that your formula makes sense? (Perhaps it would return an error if the ...

Discover More

Forcing Input to Uppercase

If you type information into a workbook, you may want to make sure that what you type is always stored in uppercase. ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Spaces in Cells

Importing data into Excel that was generated in other programs can have some interesting side effects. For instance, you ...

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 nine minus 4?

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.