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: Canceling an Edit.

Canceling an Edit

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 7, 2015)

As you are entering information in a cell, you may want to cancel what you are entering. For instance, you may have selected the wrong cell before you started typing, and you want to "back out" of the edit you are making.

There are two ways you can do this. The first is to simply press the Esc key and the other is to click on the X just to the left of the Formula bar. (In Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 the X only appears after you start typing. In Excel 2013 the X is always visible, but it is only clickable after you start typing.) Regardless of the method you choose, Excel undoes your changes and returns the cell to its state just before you started typing.

If you make a mistake and press Enter, Excel replaces the contents of the cell with whatever you were typing. To undo this, you should use the Undo feature of Excel: simply press Ctrl+Z or click on the Undo tool at the top-left corner of the program window.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10630) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Canceling an Edit.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height

If the line spacing in a paragraph appears uneven it may result of the combination of a larger character or object pasted ...

Discover More

Setting Default Attributes for Lines and Arrows

Don't like the way that Excel formats lines and arrows? You can easily make your own formatting changes, and then use ...

Discover More

Changing the Time Zone

There are several times in Drive where the program needs to keep track of the time at which certain events occur. Here's ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Clearing and Deleting Cells

When you want to remove information from a worksheet, you can either clear cells or delete cells. This tip examines the ...

Discover More

Stopping the Deletion of Cells

You can delete cells from a worksheet, and Excel will move the remaining cells either to the left or upwards. Deletions, ...

Discover More

Viewing Your Work Full-Screen

Want to use the maximum space possible for displaying information on screen? You'll want to learn how to use the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.