Text Entry

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Text Entry

Introduction to Cells Text

A new worksheet is primarily made of cells that are patiently waiting for you to enter data. There are different types of values that can be entered in a cell.

To put a value in a cell, click that cell and type the value you want. After entering the value, you can:

  • Press Enter to move to the cell under it
  • Press Tab to move to the cell on the right side (unless you were on the most right cell of the column)
  • Press Shift + Tab to move to the cell on the left side (unless you were on the most left cell of the column)
  • Press the up, the right, the down, or the left arrow keys to move to the upper cell, the right cell (equivalent to pressing Tab), the down cell (equivalent to pressing Enter), or the left cell (equivalent to pressing Shift + Tab) cell of the current cell
  • Click another cell

As mentioned above, if you enter a value in a cell and press Enter, you move focus to the cell under it or if you press Tab, you move focus to the cell on the right side. As an alternative, you can indicate the sequence of cells you want to follow so that, when you press Enter or Tab, the focus would not necessarily move to the right or the cell under but rather to the cell in the sequence of your choice. To do this:

  1. Randomly select the sequence of cells you want. In other words, click the first cell in your intended sequence, press and hold Ctrl, then click each cell in the desired order
  2. While still holding Ctrl, once again click the cell that will be the first, and release Ctrl
  3. Type the desired value in that first cell
  4. Press Enter or Tab
  5. Type the value in the next cell of the sequence
  6. Repeat steps d and e
  7. When you have finished, either press one of the arrow keys or click a cell that is not in the sequence

In Microsoft Excel, you can enter a common value for the same cell address in different worksheets. To do this, first select the worksheets as we saw in Lesson 5. Click the intended cell and type the desired value

If you type something, it goes into the active cell. If you click a cell and start typing, the new entry will replace the content of that cell, whether that cell had data or not, this could be advantageous or disastrous.

To prevent a cell from being edited by the user, you can protect it and lock its content.

Data you type in a cell can consist of any kinds of characters, letters, numbers, etc. Sometimes, a long text will look like covering more than one cell; unless you merge cells, the text you type goes into one cell regardless of the length of the text.

A cell can contain as many as 32767 characters.

Data that you type in a worksheet is in fact entered in cells, except when you are drawing. Unlike a traditional word processor, Microsoft Excel has a unique way of treating text and considering any data you type in a cell. Data entered in a cell is confined to that cell. If you type text that is longer than the cell's width, the content will display fine, giving the impression that the text is covering more than one cell or that the cell on the right side is no more available. Data you type is always in its cell. If you type anything in a cell, its content will take priority in displaying its content. Therefore the content of the left cell will appear cut. That's why you should be very familiar with the way a cell (any cell) displays its data, and how every cell relates to the others.

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Entering Text Into Cells

  1. Start Microsoft Excel with its default workbook
  2. Click Cell B8 and type Honda
  3. Press Enter
  4. Type Buick and press Enter
  5. Type Mazda and press the down arrow key
  6. Type Folks Wagon
  7. On the Quick Access toolbar, click the Undo button Undo. That deletes the content of cell B11
  8. Type VW and press the down arrow key
  9. Type h and notice that the cell is auto-completed with Honda
  10. Click Cell B6, type Make and press the right arrow key
  11. Type Model and press Tab
  12. Type Month
  13. Click Cell G6 and type Contact and press Shift + Tab to move focus to the left cell
  14. Type rice and click the Enter button Enter
  15. Type Price and press the left arrow key
  16. Type Miles and press the right arrow key three times
  17. Type Published and press Ctrl + Home 
    Data Entry
  18. Click Cell C8, type Corolla
  19. On the Formula Bar, click the Cancel button Cancel and type Accord
  20. Click Cell G8, type Brenda and press Enter
  21. In Cell G9, type David and press the down arrow key
  22. Type b and press Enter. Notice that Microsoft Excel completed the cell with the word Brenda
  23. In cell G11, type Alex and press Enter 
  24. To undo your last action, press Ctrl + Z. Now cell G7 is empty
  25. Type Juliette and press Enter
  26. Make sure the Sheet1 tab is selected.
    Press and hold Ctrl
  27. Click Sheet2 and release Ctrl
  28. Click Cell B2
  29. To enter the same text for the equivalent cells of two worksheets, type Allentown Car Sales and click Enter
  30. Click Sheet3 then click Sheet2.
    Notice the text in Cell B2
  31. Click Sheet1
  32. To determine the only cells intended for the next data entry, click Cell B4
  33. Press and hold Ctrl
  34. Click Cells B15, F15, and then B4 again
  35. Release Ctrl
    Cell Selection
  36. Type Car Inventory FY2008 and press Enter (twice)
  37. In Cell B15, type Prepared By: and press Tab
  38. Type Date Prepared: and press Ctrl + Home
    Data Entry

Text Editing

Editing cells content consists of deleting, replacing, altering, or adding something in them. You already know that if you click a cell and start typing, its content would be replaced with the new entry. If you want to add or subtract something to a cell's content:

  • You can double-click it. This would put the cell in edit mode and you can then proceed
  • Click a cell to give it focus and then press F2. This puts the cell in Edit mode; this time, the caret is at the end of the text in the cell; then you can proceed
  • Click a cell, in the Formula bar, edit the text as you see fit

Whatever technique you use, when you have finished editing a cell, make sure you move its focus by pressing Tab, Enter, or clicking somewhere else. When you are in edit mode, the arrow keys are not working, and many actions are not available.

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Editing Cells Content

  1. Click Cell D6 and type Year to replace the previous cell content
  2. Click Cell B12 and type Ford to replace the previous entry
  3. Double-click cell E6. Notice that the caret is positioned in the cell
  4. Press End, press Backspace to delete s, type age
    Now the cell displays Mileage
  5. Click Cell H6
  6. Click in the Formula Bar and press Home
  7. Type Date and press the Space bar to get Date Published
  8. Press Enter and press Ctrl + Home
    Data Entry
  9. To close the workbook without closing Microsoft Excel, press Ctrl + F4
  10. When asked whether you want to save, click No