Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
There’ll Be Some Changes Made—Editing Cells
Another rather obvious and decisive editing tack of course is to simply delete the contents of the
cell(s) in question, if that’s what’s called for. Just select the cell in question—or a range of cells—and
click Delete on your keyboard.
But these appealingly lucid approaches aren’t always the most efficient. For example—click any cell
and type:
this is how to edit cells in Excel
You’ll note that the t in this isn’t capitalized, but you want it to appear in upper case. Sure, you could
retype the whole phrase, but if you’re as lazy as I am you‘ll be searching for a less demanding
workaround. Remember that any given Excel cell can hold up to 32,767 characters, and while you’re not
likely to ever exhaust that capacity, some Excel formulas can be rather dense and ornate, and rewriting
them from scratch is an invitation to error. So we need a Plan B to edit this kind of data—and here are
three very standard, textbook techniques:
First, click the cell you want to edit and press the F2 key, an ancient command that dates back to the
last century (it’s been carbon dated). You’ll see (Figure 2–40):
Figure 2–40. Inside the cell
Look closely on your screen and you’ll see the cursor —that’s what it’s called—flickering to the
immediate right of the last letter of the phrase. You’re now “in” the cell, and once you’ve gained this kind
of entree you can carry out word processing-like actions in order to edit whatever you want. Thus here
you can press the Home key that, as it does in Word, will take to you the beginning of a line of text. Once
there, simply press the Delete key, remove the lowercase t, and replace it with T. Press Enter and you’re
done. You can edit any character in the cell by pressing the Left or Right arrow keys until you reach the
character you want, and then pressing either Backspace or Delete, depending on which side of the
character you’ve positioned yourself. Once in the cell you can also double-click any word, thus selecting
it (as you do in Word); you can then either press Delete, thereby eliminating it from the cell, or type
something else over it—again, just as you would in Word.
Note: By clicking off the File ( Options Advanced Allow editing directly in cells checkbox, you
won’t be able to avail yourself of the above option. But by doing so you’ll be able to double-click any cell
containing a formula, and thus automatically highlight, or select, all the cells contributing to the
formula. As result, you can change the values in those cells easily.)
Textbook method #2 reacquaints us with the formula bar, that band of space stretching to the right
of the name box, as shown in Figure 2–41:
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