Basic Data Editing in Excel 2010

When entering vast quantities of data in Excel 2010, it's easy for typos to creep into your work. How you correct mistakes in Excel 2010 depends upon whether you notice the error before or after you complete the cell entry. You can edit mistakes as they happen, or after you've entered data in cells:

  • If you catch the mistake before you complete a cell entry, you can delete characters by pressing Backspace as necessary. Then you can retype the rest of the entry before you complete the entry in the cell.

  • If you discover the mistake after you've completed the cell entry, you can either retype the entire entry or edit just the mistakes.

    • When dealing with short entries, you'll probably want to retype the entry by selecting the cell, typing the replacement entry, and then pressing Enter.

    • When the error in an entry is relatively easy to fix and the entry is on the long side, you'll probably want to edit the cell entry rather than replace it. To edit the entry in the cell, simply double-click the cell or select the cell and then press the F2 key.

When you edit an existing cell entry, the mode indicator in the status bar changes to Edit. While in this mode, you can use the mouse or the arrow keys to position the insertion point at the place in the cell entry that needs fixing.

Keystrokes for Editing Cell Entries in Excel 2010
Keystroke What the Keystroke Does
Delete Deletes the character to the right of the insertion point.
Backspace Deletes the character to the left of the insertion point.
Positions the insertion point one character to the right.
Positions the insertion point one character to the left.
End or ↓ Moves the insertion point after the last character in the cell entry.
Home Moves the insertion point in front of the first character of the cell entry.
Ctrl+→ Positions the insertion point in front of the next word in the cell entry.
Ctrl+← Positions the insertion point in front of the preceding word in the cell entry.
Insert Switches between insert and overtype mode.

In Excel 2010, you can edit a cell's contents in the cell or on the Formula bar. Editing right in the cell is just fine, but when you're dealing with really long entries, you may prefer to do your editing on the Formula bar. This is because Excel 2010 automatically adds up and down scroll arrow buttons to the right side of the Formula bar when a cell entry is too long to be completely displayed on a single row. To edit the contents in the Formula bar rather than in the cell itself, click the I-beam mouse pointer at the place that requires modification to set the cursor.

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