Fixing a Numeric Keypad Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2015)


Geraldine seems to have accidentally changed the functionality of the zero key on her numeric keypad. When she presses it now, she gets a cut/copy/paste menu instead of a zero. Geraldine has no idea why this is happening or how to fix it.

One of the frustrating things about some systems these days—particularly if you are using a laptop computer—is that there are a limited number of keyboard keys and a large number of purposes to which those keys can be put. For instance, if I look at the keyboard on my laptop, I see that the zero key on the numeric keyboard is also marked as "insert." Other keys include other alternative labels for other purposes.

The way you access these other functions is to hold down a modifier key, typically a key marked FN. So, for instance, if I want to access the "insert" function on the zero key on my laptop, I hold down FN as I press the zero key.

This is what it sounds like may be happening with Geraldine's system. Either the FN key is stuck or there is some sort of "lock" key that makes the FN key sticky. When engaged in this manner, the zero key is performing its alternative function. The solution is to turn off the FN key and then the zero key should work as expected.

If that doesn't do the trick, it could be that there is some program that is causing the key to behave differently. Check to see if there is some utility running in the background that maps the keys differently or close all your programs (except Excel) and see if the problem goes away. If so, then you'll know how to solve the issue—diable, quit, or turn off that other program.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13386) 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 6 - 4?

2016-09-24 11:10:10


The simple solution is to turn off the Fn Lock.

When the Fn Lock is on, the cut/copy/paste menu appears instead of a zero.
Press Fn Lock again and it turns off the Fn Lock. Then the zero appears instead of the cut/copy/paste menu.

2015-04-21 09:51:57

Larry W

Thank you very much. Once I placed the "Declare" statement at the top of my module, the "Num-Lock" key stays active. I have about 20 users that complain about this all the time. This will make everyone of them very happy.
Larry W.

2015-04-16 13:42:44

Willy Vanhaelen

Sorry I wrote "at the beginning of your macro" but you must insert it at the very beginning of your module.

2015-04-15 13:21:05

Larry W

Thank you for commenting on my issue.
I tried the "Declare" function right after the "Sub Copy_to_Notepad()" but I get a "Compile error: Only comments may appear after End Sub, End Function, or End Property".
What am I doing wrong? I tried placing the "Declare" statement before the "Sub..." but I got the same error.
Thanks for your help.

2015-03-17 07:18:43

Willy Vanhaelen

Try to add the following line in the beginning of your macro:

Declare Function GetKeyState Lib "user32" (ByVal nVirtKey As Long) As Integer

2015-03-16 10:27:07


I have an issue with the NumLock key turning off whenever this macro is called. Is there a way to prevent the Numlock from turning off? The LET statement is supposed to get the current numlock state and return it to that state, but it doesn't seem to work.

Sub Copy_To_NotePad()
Dim NumLockState As Boolean
Let NumLockState = CBool(GetKeyState(vbKeyNumlock) And 1)

'This will copy the selected range in Excel to Notepad and ask for the name for the saved Text file.
'Save the name of the Worksheet into a placeholder.
BookName = ActiveWorkbook.Name
Shell "notepad.exe", vbNormalFocus
Application.SendKeys "^{v}", True ' Same as CTRL V, or Paste
Application.SendKeys "%(FS)", True 'asks to save the text file. Same as "ALT-FILESave"
Application.SendKeys "%(FX)", True
Application.SendKeys "^{HOME}"
If NumLockState = False Then
SendKeys "{NUMLOCK}", True
End If
End Sub

2015-03-14 23:58:58

Alain de Foenbrune

My laptop keyboard does not react the same way with, a Word doc, an Excel spreadsheet or a Windows live-mail e-mail. Especially with the French punctuation, sometimes what is good for one is not good for the other. I will read carefully all your tips and reading suggestions. Merci

Toshiba Satellite C870D
Microsoft Windows 7
Home Premium 6.1.7601

2015-03-14 10:28:47

Henry Noble

The settings for the PC BIOS usually include a toggle to enable/disable the NumLock key at boot. Check that also.

2015-03-14 07:21:18


The numeric keypad functions are especially nasty on laptops, which use normal field keys to emulate the numeric keypad, with various function-like keys.

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