You have several options to enter data manually in Excel. You can enter data in one cell, in multiple cells at once, or on more than one worksheet at a time. The data you enter can be numbers, text, dates or times. You can format this data in various ways. In addition, you can adjust various configuration options to make them easier to enter.
This topic does not explain how to use a data form to enter data into a spreadsheet. For more information about working with data forms, see Add, edit, search, and delete rows with a data form.
Enter text on number in cell
- In the spreadsheet, click a cell.
- Type the numbers or text you want to enter, and then press Enter or TAB.
To enter data on a new line within a cell, insert a line break by pressing ALT + enter.
Enter a number with fixed decimal point
- On the File tab , click Options .
Excel 2007 only: Click the Microsoft Office button , then click Excel Options .
- Click Advanced, and then under Editing options , select the Automatically insert a decimal point check box .
- In the Decimal places box , enter a positive number for the digits to the right of the decimal point, or a negative number for those to the left of the decimal point.
For example, if you type 3 in the Decimal places box , and then 2834 in the cell, the value will be 2,834. If you type –3 in the Decimal places box , and then 283 , the value will be 283000.
- In the spreadsheet, click in a cell and enter the desired number.
The data you entered in the cells before selecting the Fixed number of decimals option will not be affected.
To temporarily override the Fixed Number of Decimals option , type a decimal point when entering the number.
Enter date or time
- In the spreadsheet, click a cell.
- Enter a date or time as follows:
- To enter a date, use a slash or hyphen to separate the components; for example, type 09/05/2002 or 5-Sep-2002 .
- To enter a time based on a 12-hour clock, enter the time followed by a space, and then type a or p after the hour; for example, 9:00 p . Otherwise, Excel will write the time as am
To enter the current time and date, press Ctrl + Shift +; (semicolon).
- To enter a date or time that stays current when you reopen a spreadsheet, you can use the TODAY and NOW functions.
- When you enter a date or time in a cell, they appear in the default date or time format on your PC or in the format applied to the cell before you entered the date or time. The default date or time format is based on the date or time settings in the Regional and Language Options dialog box (Control Panel, Clock, Language, and Region ). If these settings have been modified on your PC, the dates and times of your books that have not been formatted using the Format Cells command are displayed according to this setting.
- To apply the default date or time format, click the cell that contains the date or time value and press Ctrl + Shift + # or Ctrl + Shift + @.
Enter same data in several cells
- Select the cells in which you want to enter the same data. The cells may or may not be adjacent.
- In the active cell, type the data and press Ctrl + Enter.
You can also enter the same data into multiple cells using the fill handle to automatically fill in the data in the cells of the spreadsheets.
Enter the same data in several spreadsheets
By having multiple spreadsheets active at once, you can enter new data or change existing data in one of the spreadsheets; the changes will be applied to the same cells of all selected worksheets.
- Click the tab on the first worksheet that contains the data you want to modify. Then hold down the Ctrl key as you click the tabs on the sheets where you want to sync the data.
Note: If you don’t see the tab for the spreadsheet you want, click the tab navigation buttons to find the sheet, and then click the appropriate tab. If you still can’t find the tabs for the worksheet you want, you may have to maximize the document window.
- In the active worksheet, select the cell or range at which you want to modify existing data or enter new data.
- In the active cell, type new data or modify existing data, and then press Enter or TAB to move the selection to the next cell.
The changes apply to all selected spreadsheets.
- Repeat the previous step until you finish entering or modifying data.
- To cancel a multiple sheet selection, click any unselected sheet. If you cannot see any unselected sheets, right-click the tab for a selected sheet, and then choose Ungroup Sheets .
- When you enter or modify data, the changes affect all selected worksheets, and you may inadvertently replace data that you did not intend to change. To avoid this, you can view all the spreadsheets at once to identify possible conflicts with the data.
- In the Window group on the View tab , click New Window .
- Switch to the new window, and then click the spreadsheet you want to view.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each worksheet you want to view.
- In the Window group on the View tab , click Arrange All, and then click the option you want.
- To view spreadsheets only in the active workbook, in the Arrange Windows dialog box , select the Active workbook windows checkbox.
Modify spreadsheet setting and cell format
There are several configuration parameters in Excel that you can change to make entering data easier. Some changes affect all workbooks, some affect the entire worksheet, and some affect only the specified cells.
Change the direction of the Enter key
If you press TAB to enter data into multiple cells in a row, and then Enter at the end of that row, the selection defaults to the beginning of the next row.
Pressing Enter moves the cell down one cell, while pressing TAB moves the cell one cell to the right. You cannot change the direction of the movement of the TAB key, but you can specify a different direction for the Enter key. If you change this parameter, the entire worksheet, any other open sheets, any other open workbooks, and all new workbooks will be affected.