Excel Guides

Specifying the Behavior of the Enter Key in Excel

When working in Excel, the Enter key has a few different functions, depending on where you are and what you're trying to do. Here's a rundown of the different ways the Enter key can be used:

In a cell:

If you're editing a cell, pressing Enter will save your changes and take you out of edit mode. If the cell is empty, pressing Enter will move you down one cell. If the cell isn't empty, pressing Enter will move you down one cell, but keep the contents of the current cell selected.

In a formula:

If you're editing a formula, pressing Enter will save your changes and take you out of edit mode. If the formula is invalid, pressing Enter will display an error message. If the formula is valid, pressing Enter will calculate the result of the formula.

In a dialog box:

If you're in a dialog box (for example, when opening or saving a file), pressing Enter will select the default button (usually OK or Save). Pressing Esc will cancel the action.

On the worksheet:

If you're on the worksheet and not in a cell or formula, pressing Enter will create a new line below the current one. This is useful for making lists or adding extra space between rows of data.

Move beyond 

Excel

Get started with Causal today.
Build models effortlessly, connect them directly to your data, and share them with interactive dashboards and beautiful visuals.