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 3, 2015)

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

Adding a Chart

Charts can be a great way to enhance the impact of otherwise boring numeric data. Sheets makes it easy to add a chart to ...

Discover More

Understanding Paragraph Alignment

One of the most basic ways to align paragraphs is to set the alignment used for the text in the paragraph. Word provides ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text in Merged Cells

When you are formatting your worksheet, Excel lets you easily merge adjacent cells together. If you want to wrap the text ...

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)

Picking a Group of Cells

Excel makes it easy to select a group of contiguous cells. However, it also makes it easy to select non-contiguous groups ...

Discover More

Picking a Contiguous Range of Cells

There are a variety of ways to pick a range of cells in Excel. Here are three of them you'll find useful.

Discover More

Shifting Objects Off a Sheet

One day you are just editing your worksheet like you normally do, then you see an error that says "Cannot shift object ...

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 5 + 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.