Excel: Why does Excel Insert Cell Addresses When I Edit In a RefEdit Box?

This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Power Excel 2010-2013 from MrExcel - 567 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.

Problem: There are a few maddening dialog boxes in Excel. Say that you define a name and later need to edit that name. Click somewhere in the RefEdit box. When you press the left or right arrow key to move to another part of the cell, Excel starts inserting cell references.

Here is an example:

  1. You meant to click inside the parenthesis, but you missed.

    When you press the right arrow key to move the flashing insertion point after the address, Excel starts inserting cell references. The only action between the figure above and the one below is pressing the right arrow.

  2. Excel inserts cell references as you arrow through.

    This is maddening! The solution is very simple, though. Before you touch the arrow keys in a RefEdit box, press F2. You will see the status indicator in the lower left corner of Excel change from Enter or Point to Edit. Once you are in Edit mode, you can use arrow keys.

  3. Press F2 to change Point to Edit. Problem solved.