Edit Cell Content: MS Excel

Dennis Faas's picture

After you enter text, numbers or a formula into a cell, you may need to change it. You can always retype the entry, if it's short. If it's long, you can easily edit it instead.

One way to do this is to click in the formula bar and make changes. When the mouse pointer is over the formula bar, it appears as an I-beam, which looks like a capital I. This makes it easy for you to click between letters to place the insertion point where you want to begin making corrections.

Sometimes it's easier to make a minor change to the contents of a cell rather than start over from scratch.

You can edit the contents of a cell three ways.

  • Move the mouse pointer to the formula bar and click to place the insertion point. Make changes by pressing Backspace or Delete and retyping.
  • Double-click the cell, and the mouse pointer turns into and I-beam. Click to place the insertion point within the cell, and make changes.
  • Press the F2 key and make changes.

When you edit the contents of the cell, two new buttons appear on the formula bar (Cancel and Enter). You can use these buttons to finish editing. The status bar shows Edit status until you click one of these, when it changes back to Read, meaning you can work on any cell in the worksheet.

If you press Enter or click the Enter button on the formula bar, the changes are made permanent. If you press Esc or click the Cancel button on the formula bar, the contents of the cell are left unchanged. In either case, the status bar shows Ready, and you can then work on other cells in the worksheet.

When you format a number with dollar signs, you can't remove the dollar signs by editing the cell contents because the formatting is stores separately from the contents of the cell. One way to remove dollar signs where they are not needed is to click the Comma Style button.

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