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: Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents.

Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 31, 2020)

By default, Excel allows you to edit cell information either in the Formula bar or in the cell itself. (Select the cell and press F2, or simply double-click on a cell.) You may want to turn the in-cell editing feature off, however. To do this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Select 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. Clear the Edit Directly In Cell check box to turn off in-cell editing.
  5. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3023) 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: Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents.

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

Understanding Smart Cut and Paste

Editing is generally made easier by a feature that Word calls smart cut and paste. If you prefer, you can turn the ...

Discover More

Changing Font Size Using a Shortcut Key

Want to adjust the font size used in a cell or range of cells? It's easy to do by using the shortcut described in this tip.

Discover More

Returning Nothing If Two Values are Empty

Excel includes a large number of functions that can be used in evaluating the data in a worksheet. In this tip you learn ...

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)

Changing Months in a Workbook

When you copy a worksheet and then need to make changes to information in that worksheet (such as changing month names), ...

Discover More

Turning Off Insert Options

When you insert rows, columns, or cells in a worksheet, does the resulting Insert Options icon bother you? Here's how to ...

Discover More

Selecting a Word

There are a few editing tricks you can apply in Excel the same as you do in Word. Selecting a word from the text in a ...

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 eight minus 6?

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.