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.

Canceling an Edit

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 5, 2016)

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.

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

Swapping Two Strings

Part of developing macros is learning how to use and manipulate variables. This tip examines a technique you can use to ...

Discover More

Setting the Left Indent of a Paragraph in a Macro

When using a macro to format text, you can set all sorts of attributes for paragraphs or individual characters. On ...

Discover More

Summing Digits in a Value

Want to add up all the digits in a given value? It's a bit trickier than it may at first seem.

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)

Checking for an Entry in a Cell

You may be looking for a way to have a formula determine if a particular cell has anything in it. Here's how you can find ...

Discover More

Reference Shortcut

Need to modify how a cell reference, in a formula, is constructed? The shortcut described in this tip will help you step ...

Discover More

Transposing and Linking

Do you need to both transpose and link information you are pasting in a worksheet? It isn't as impossible to do as it ...

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 three more than 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.