How to edit a cell in Excel or Openoffice

This was one of those things that bugged me for ages but because I wasn’t sure of the terminology I could never find an answer for it. How do I edit a cell in Openoffice without doing either of the following?

  1. Double clicking on the cell.
  2. Clicking on the cell, then clicking on the edit bar at the top of the window.

The answer is quite simple, and it’s probably in some FAQ somewhere but each time I had a want to find it, I would have been up to my eyeballs in receipts working on my VAT return. Luckily, Lifehacker linked to this Excel keystrokes post which has a couple of magic key combos but look in the comments for the real meat.

How do I edit a cell in my spreadsheet? Hit F2.

F2 F2 F2 F2

Hit the F2 key to edit a cell. When I first discovered this keystroke, it was like the clouds parted and the light of God beamed down on my keyboard. Give it a shot right now if you haven’t used the F2 key before. (Hint: it will allow you to edit the data in the selected cell)

"How to edit a cell in Excel or Openoffice", 4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

19 thoughts on “How to edit a cell in Excel or Openoffice”

  1. That and using CTRL+D to fill down are the handiest shortcuts in Excel. (Fill down is when you have a formula in a cell and you want to have the same thing in cells below). Highlight the cell in question and the cells in which you want them. Then press CTRL+D. CTRL+R is the same for fill right, not as common though.

  2. Ah yes, F2 edits a filename too. I use that quite a lot, never thought it would work in a spreadsheet too!

    ‘Course, the Mac is different and you press return on a filename to rename it. Where’s the logic?

  3. Changed my life…I have wondered about this for countless hours of grabbing for the otherwise completely useless mouse and swearing to myself at each time wasting movement that i made. Now i can work even fast on spreadsheets that nobody ever looks at and even worse, statistically won’t even exist in 20 years. Woo Hoo.

    Honestly though….thanks!

  4. Hi, I need to change a singular word in excel open office but in approx 30 different places in 1 document, I will need to do this for many pages, is there a short cut I can use rather than change each word individually? Thanks.

  5. You, my friend, have become my HERO op the Day – no, week – NO YEAR!!!!!!! You just made my life a whole bunch easier!!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you

  6. Hi it was quite good tip. I think it’s might be useful for person who can not use mouse as well. I mean like a person with disabilities an so on. It was quite good tip for that I can say. Anyway keep up a good work. All the best.

  7. How can I do the F2 on Open Office for Mac? I am looking for the shortcut to edit cells in spreadsheets (the F2, bah), but can’t find it anywhere! The F2 does’t work in Mac, and it’s driving me crazy!

  8. OK, but what about editing a cell with a website already written in it w/o clicking the website OR deleting everything before you edit. Possible?

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