Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Learning some handy data-entry techniques
Using navigation keys instead of pressing Enter
Instead of pressing the Enter key when you’re ﬁ nished making a cell entry, you also can use
any of the navigation keys to complete the entry. Not surprisingly, these navigation keys
send you in the direction that you indicate. For example, if you’re entering data in a row,
press the right-arrow (
) key rather than Enter. The other arrow keys work as expected,
and you can even use Page Up and Page Down.
Selecting a range of input cells before entering data
When a range of cells is selected, Excel automatically moves the cell pointer to the next cell
in the range when you press Enter. If the selection consists of multiple rows, Excel moves
down the column; when it reaches the end of the selection in the column, it moves to the
ﬁ rst selected cell in the next column.
To skip a cell, just press Enter without entering anything. To go backward, press
Shift+Enter. If you prefer to enter the data by rows rather than by columns, press Tab
rather than Enter. Excel continues to cycle through the selected range until you select a
cell outside of the range.
Using Ctrl+Enter to place information into multiple cells simultaneously
If you need to enter the same data into multiple cells, Excel offers a handy shortcut. Select
all the cells that you want to contain the data, enter the value, text, or formula, and then
press Ctrl+Enter. The same information is inserted into each cell in the selection.
Entering decimal points automatically
If you need to enter lots of numbers with a ﬁ xed number of decimal places, Excel has a
useful tool that works like some old adding machines. Access the Excel Options dialog box
and click the Advanced tab. Select the Automatically Insert a Decimal Point check box and
make sure that the Places box is set for the correct number of decimal places for the data
you need to enter.
When this option is set, Excel supplies the decimal points for you automatically. For
example, if you specify two decimal places, entering 12345 into a cell is interpreted as 123.45.
To restore things to normal, just clear the Automatically Insert a Decimal Point check box
in the Excel Options dialog box. Changing this setting doesn’t affect any values that you
The i xed decimal places option is a global setting and applies to all workbooks (not just the active workbook). If you
forget that this option is turned on, you can easily end up entering incorrect values — or cause some major confusion
if someone else uses your computer.