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: Tab Key Jumps a Screen at a Time.

Tab Key Jumps a Screen at a Time

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2018)

In Excel, different keys have different purposes when it comes to navigating around your worksheet. Normally, when you press the Tab key you will notice that Excel moves the cell cursor one column to the right. Not all spreadsheet programs behave this way, however. For instance, when you press the Tab key in Lotus 1-2-3, the cell cursor jumps a full screen to the right, instead of a single column.

Excel, in its efforts to make life easier on people who are just changing to the program, will emulate the navigation keys used by Lotus 1-2-3. If you press the Tab key in Excel, and the cell cursor jumps one screen to the right, then your system is using the navigation emulator instead of the native Excel navigation keys. To change back to the Excel defaults, follow these steps:

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

  4. Clear the Transition Navigation Keys check box.
  5. Click on OK.

That's it. Your Tab key should now work as expected, moving one column to the right each time you press it.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2747) 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: Tab Key Jumps a Screen at a Time.

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

Opening Multiple Workbooks at Once

Need to open a bunch of workbooks from within Excel? It's easy to do when you construct a selection set in the Open ...

Discover More

Microsoft Word Terrific Tables (Table of Contents)

Word allows you to create and format tabular information using a powerful table editor. Discover the many ways that you ...

Discover More

Copying All Tables to a New Document

Need to make a copy of every single table in a document? There's a quick and easy way to do it using the macro in this tip.

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Jumping to a Specific Worksheet

Want to make fast work of moving from one worksheet to another? Here's how to do the task when you have a lot of ...

Discover More

Odd Arrow Key Behavior

Press the up or down arrow keys, and you expect Excel to change which cell is selected. If this doesn't occur on your ...

Discover More

Limiting Scroll Area

If you need to limit the cells that are accessible by the user of a worksheet, VBA can come to the rescue. This doesn't ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 less than 7?

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.