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: Canceling an Edit.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 4, 2020)
As you are entering information in a cell, you may want to cancel what you are entering. For instance, you may have selected the wrong cell before you started typing, and you want to "back out" of the edit you are making.
There are two ways you can do this. The first is to simply press the Esc key and the other is to click on the red X just to the left of the Formula bar. (The red X only appears after you start typing.) Regardless of the method you choose, Excel undoes your changes and returns the cell to its state just before you started typing.
If you make a mistake and press Enter, Excel replaces the contents of the cell with whatever you were typing. To undo this, you should use the Undo feature of Excel: simply press Ctrl+Z or click on the Undo tool on the toolbar.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2617) 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: Canceling an Edit.
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