Selecting a Suggestion with the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2014)


When you begin typing a formula in a cell, Excel displays a helpful list of possible functions and named ranges that are based on what you are typing. The list of options gets shorter as you continue typing. You can, at any time, use the mouse to click on one of the options being offered to you.

If you don't want to take your hands off of the keyboard to use the mouse, there is an easy way to make a selection from the list of options offered. All you need to do is use the up and down arrow keys to highlight one of the options and then press the Tab key to select whichever one is highlighted. If there is only a single option being presented (which could easily be the case), you don't need to use the arrow keys; just press Tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10181) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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 six more than 8?

2017-12-12 11:27:12


Thank you for the info... so easy! The F2 excel help is worthless for this simple command.

2017-05-22 23:54:43


Very frustrated with using mouse to select suggestion, this is exactly I was looking for. Thanks Allen!

2016-06-06 07:58:23


Thanks for this Allen. Quite useful.

2014-09-09 07:11:47

Shreepad S M Gandhi

Thanks Allen. I tried often the use of Enter but unsuccessfully. This tip was required. :)

2014-09-07 01:27:08


Thank you for posting this. I tried every other key except TAB. Thanks again

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