Edit the active cell

Keyboard shortcut options for this action in excel: edit the active cell

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Windows shortcut†
F2
Mac shortcut†
‚ĆÉU

This shortcut enters cell edit mode with the cursor at the end of the last line of text in the cell. If you want the cursor to move to the formula bar, see below.

Once you are editing a cell, you can use the F2 / Ctrl+U again to toggle through available edit modes (edit, enter, point).  "Point" and "Enter" work similarly and allow you to point to a cell. "Edit" mode simply moves the cursor in the formula text. Pressing F2 / Ctrl+U repeatedly will cycle through modes...you'll see the mode displayed in the status bar, in the lower left corner.

On the Mac, this doesn't seem to work in certain areas, notably Define Names, and the New Formatting Rule window when adding a conditional format that uses a formula.

Want to edit directly in the formula bar?

If you want the cursor to move into the formula bar when you use this shortcut, you need to disable the "edit in cell" option (see below):

Excel 2010

File > Options > Advanced > Editing options > Edit Directly In Cell (untick)

Excel 2013

File > Options > Advanced > Editing options > Allow Editing Directly In Cell (untick)

Excel 2011

Preferences > Edit > Double-click Allows Editing Directly In Cell (untick)

Excel 2007

Tools > Options > Advanced > Editing options > Allow Editing Directly In Cell (untick)

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