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: Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell.

Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 21, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Rodolfo knows that he can configure Excel to allow editing in both the Formula bar and the cell itself, but he wants to configure it so that editing can be done only in the cell, not in the Formula bar.

There is no way to do this in Excel. The closest you can come is to make sure that cell editing is enabled (so that editing can be done in either the Formula bar or the cell) and then hiding the Formula bar. You can hide the Formula bar by these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Formula Bar check box.
  5. Click on OK.

If you prefer, you can also programmatically turn off the Formula bar for a specific worksheet. You can do this by using the following two macros, which should be assigned to the code for the specific worksheet you want to affect. (You can display the proper code window by right-clicking the worksheet's tab and selecting View Code from the resulting Context menu.)

Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()
    Application.DisplayFormulaBar = False
End Sub
Private Sub Worksheet_Deactivate()
    Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True
End Sub

The first macro turns off the Formula bar when the worksheet is activated, and the second turns it back on when the worksheet is deactivated (when another worksheet is selected).

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3229) 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: Forcing Editing to Be Done in a Cell.

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. ...

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