Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents.

Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 6, 2014)


By default, Excel allows you to edit cell information either in the Formula bar or in the cell itself. (Select the cell and press F2, or simply double-click on a cell.) You may want to turn the in-cell editing feature off, however. To do this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. In the Editing Options section, clear the Allow Editing Directly in Cells check box.
  5. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9308) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Controlling Where You Edit Cell Contents.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five more than 3?

2016-06-02 10:37:39



2014-05-07 05:29:31


This option seems best disabled when you have formulas to edit - so to be able to turn it on/off easily would be useful, for this I think VBA would be the best option in OPEN sub routine and use the following option -
Application.EditDirectlyInCell = False (or True as desired)
It may not be perfect as the option will always apply to all open workbooks but useful nonetheless.

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