Software & Apps MS Office Edit Cells with the F2 Function Key in Excel Make fast changes with a function key shortcut By Ted French Writer Former Lifewire writer Ted French is a Microsoft Certified Professional who teaches and writes about spreadsheets and spreadsheet programs. our editorial process Ted French Updated February 09, 2020 LinkedIn Sales Navigator / Pexels MS Office Excel Word Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email The function key F2 allows you to quickly and easily edit the data of a cell by activating Excel's edit mode and placing the insertion point at the end of the active cell's existing contents. Here is how you can use the F2 key to edit cells. Example: Using F2 Key to Edit a Cell's Contents This example covers how to edit a formula in Excel If the option to allow editing directly in cells is turned off, pressing the F2 key will still put Excel in edit mode, but the insertion point will be moved to the formula bar above the worksheet in order to edit the cell's contents. Enter 4 into cell D1, 5 into cell D2, and 6 into cell D3. Select cell E1 to make it the active cell. Enter the following formula into cell E1 = D1 + D2 Press the Enter key on the keyboard to complete the formula. The answer 9 should appear in cell E1. Select cell E1 to again make it the active cell. Press the F2 key on the keyboard. Excel enters edit mode and the insertion point is placed at the end of the current formula. This is the same as double-clicking the cell with the mouse. Modify the formula by adding + D3 to the end of it. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to complete the formula and leave edit mode. The new total for the formula (15) should appear in cell E1. You can tell when Excel is in Edit mode by looking in the lower-left corner of the window. The word Edit will appear in the Status bar when Edit mode is activated. Edit mode enables you to move the text cursor within the formula using the right and left arrow keys. If you press F2 again, the formula goes into Enter mode. In Enter mode, you can use the arrow keys to select cells instead of moving the text cursor. If you notice that when you press the F2 key, it increases the computer's audio volume instead of making the cell active, you might need to press and hold the Fn key, which is in the lower-left corner of the keyboard just to the right of the Ctrl key, while pressing the F2 key.