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Here's a really simple Excel tip that many of you may already know. I know for a fact that at least ONE of the hard-core Excel developer writers around here did NOT know this magical tip I'm about to impart to you. I'm going to make it short and sweet (ish).
You can use this tip when you find yourself in either of these scenarios:
Solution: For scenario one, when you want to make a change in a certain cell, all you need to do is select that cell, and press F2. That's it. It will make the cell open to, well, anything, and you can start typing away to your heart's content. Same thing with scenario 2: After you copy and before you paste whatever content is going into the cell, press F2 and then paste it. You'll get the same formatting that the rest of the workbook is in.
There's just ONE THING you have to be sure of in order for this to work: The F LOCK key has to be turn on on your keyboard. Every keyboard has a different way of letting you know that the F LOCK function key is on. But honestly, the easiest way to know for sure if your F LOCK key is on is to try out my tip; if it works, you're all set; if not, press the F LOCK button and try again. (If you have a problem with the F LOCK button in other ways, visit this troubleshooter.)
Simple, and yet so elegant. So Audrey Hepburn. So olive oil and crusty bread. So perfect circle.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." — Leonardo da Vinci
What if you don't have (or don't think you have) a f-lock key? I have a Dell keyboard; do I miss out on this tip?
@ Athena. You have an F Lock hey. It may just have a capital F within a circle on it. Take a photo of your keyboard and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nope, no F lock key for me either (also a dell keyboard). It's not something like an "NE" key is it!
Well this is not good. I'm off to do some research to see what is going on. I shall return!
Hi Crabby, I don't have the F-lock but the trick worked anyway.
@Claudel: So you just pressed F2? Because THAT is what all these other commenters need to know... I believe that some keyboards don’t have an F LOCK button; the “F” keys are just always engaged. You all DO have F1, F2, F3, etc., right?
So press F2 and see what happens! I only mentioned the F LOCK button b/c if it isn’t on, the F keys don’t work – none of them
And please, PLEASE tell us.
And people, I don't know if you know this (I’ve mentioned it in my columns but maybe not here), but you can get the same effect if you DOUBLE-CLICK in the cell before you edit/add/paste.
If one or more of you would respond to let me know if the above works (just pressing F2 if you do HAVE F buttons), this Crabby Old Lady (which is what I feel like today) would be so grateful. Providing tips that don’t work is the worst feeling. Know why? Because I KNOW what it’s like to have software that is tricky to use. I do! It’s frustrating, it takes up time, and it’s like talking to a brick wall.
So. Talk to me, my peeps.
I am able to use the F2 key to paste selection into Exel with same formatting as spreadsheet. I have the same Dell keyboard others speak of. No F key but F2 works. I also tried your other hint to double click in the cell and it has the same effect as F2. I copied a few words from your article and pasted them with F2 in one cell and double clicking the cell in another and the formatting of the spreadsheet was applied to the pasted info. I went to another cell that I had done nothing with and pasted the same selection in it, the formatting from your article came with the paste, just as you said. That's a brilliant tip.
@Tris: I am loving you tonight and if you ever need a kidney, I'm here for you...
People who are F Lock- challenged: Read what Tris wrote.
Yep - that's right. Some keyboards just have F keys that are always locked - lots of keyboards F keys only have that functions so there's no need for a F lock.
I love this tip - means I don't have to paste and then click the little box that gives me the option to Match Destination Formatting etc etc - thanks Crabby
Thanks, too, Ruth.I learned something new, you learned something new....& now I'm off to research the NUM LOCK button...
Crabby, I have just discovered your blog and I have to say that I have learnt amazing things in the last half hour! I love you!
Why Natasha (cool name!) Thank you! I love you too. (Curious: How DID you find me???)
Only the more expensive MS keyboards have an F-Lock key, because MS decided to allocate other functions to the F-keys by default. To my knowledge, no other brands have done this, so if you don't have a Microsoft keyboard you don't need to worry about F-Lock.
One problem with this tip is it will only allow pasting of information into the one cell that's being edited. You can do the same if you are copying multiple rows of information from the net and wish to paste them as multiple cells in Excel by using the Paste Special function (Excel 2003 is Edit > Paste Special, Excel 2007 use the Paste dropdown item > Paste Special on the Home ribbon) and then select "Unicode Text" or "Plain Text" from the list of options... this will paste the text, and none of the formatting from Internet Explorer or any other browser, or most other places such as Access or Word.
Quivver: Well sure; this was a tip for a one-cell paste. But I hear you and I'm glad you brought this up, because it CAN be a challenge when you're working wiht multiple cells.
Cut, paste, reformat... cut, paste, reformat... this F2 thing is so cool! Thanks for the tip!