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

Using Revision Tracking

Want to keep track of the changes other people make to your workbook or even your own changes? Excel makes gathering this ...

Discover More

Calculating Averages by Date

When you have a huge amount of daily data to analyze, you may want to calculate an average of values for any given date in ...

Discover More

Setting Up Your Printer

Need your printed output to look its best? You may need to change the settings used by your printer, then. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Displaying Row and Column Labels

When you create a worksheet, it is common to place headings at the top of each column and the left of each row so you can ...

Discover More

Displaying Letter Grades

Grading in schools is often done using numeric values. However, you may want to change those numeric values into letter ...

Discover More

Displaying a Hidden First Row

If you hide the first rows of a worksheet, you may have a hard time getting those rows visible again. Here's a simple way to ...

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 two more than 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.