Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 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: Turning Off Insert Options.

Turning Off Insert Options

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2017)


Excel 2002 and later versions include a feature that allows you to modify how you insert rows, columns, or cells in your worksheet. When you insert any of these, Excel displays a small, floating "button" right near the inserted row, column, or cell. The button, called "Insert Options," has a small paintbrush on it, similar to the Format Painter tool. Click the button, and Excel displays some options about how the inserted row, column, or cell should be formatted.

If you find the Insert Options button distracting, or if you never use it, you may want to turn it off. Follow these steps if you are using Excel 2002 or Excel 2003:

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

  4. Clear the Show Insert Options Buttons check box.
  5. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3045) applies to Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Turning Off Insert Options.

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. ...


Bold Turning On by Itself

Word always relies on styles to define how text appears in your document. If you don't understand how Word applies ...

Discover More

External Data Validation

When using data validation, you may want to reference a list of validation criteria contained on a different worksheet. ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Blank Labels in a Filtered Merge

If you are filtering a mail merge in Excel, and you get blank labels in the printout in Word, chances are good that ...

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)

Adjusting Formulas when Pasting

The Paste Special feature in Excel can be used to uniformly adjust values and formulas. This tip shows how powerful this ...

Discover More

Quickly Updating Values

You can easily adjust the values in a range of cells by a certain amount. The key is to modify how you use the pasting ...

Discover More

Concatenating Ranges of Cells

Putting the contents of two cells together is easy. Putting together the contents of lots of cells is more involved, as ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 1 + 5?

2015-10-10 00:52:50


I am using Excel 2013 and my option of insert cut cells has got disabled. can anyone help me in this please

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

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.