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Is there a keyboard shortcut key to select all the text in the current cell in Excel, if you are in the process of editing the cell?

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What do you want to do by selecting all the cell's text? because when you move between cell by keyboard if you press cmd+c you can copy all the cell content and if start typing it clear ell previous data and insert your new data. – Am1rr3zA Nov 15 '11 at 15:18
It's true that it isn't ever really necessary to select all when in the cell, but via reflex I often find myself trying to do it. – Lorin Hochstein Nov 15 '11 at 20:54
@LorinHochstein I agree, reflexively I find it more intuitive to select and replace the text, rather than delete and replace. – Paul Wagland Sep 20 '12 at 8:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • ^-U to edit the cell
  • ⇧-alt-Home to select all text
  • ⇧-alt-Left to select one word to the left
  • ⇧-alt-Right to select one word to the right
  • ⇧-alt-Down to select from the current location to the end of the line.
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I'm on Windows and the Home equivalent selects until the beginning of the line if text is wrapped. Is this the case here? – kon psych Feb 26 '15 at 7:31
@konpsych I believe that is also the case here. Typically I only have one line in my cells though, so it is the same thing for me ;-) – Paul Wagland Feb 26 '15 at 16:13
so ctrl + a is not sufficient for microshit. – apocalypz Apr 16 '15 at 13:31

When editing a cell, a quick way to select all the contents is to…

  • place the cursor at the beginning of contents and hit ⇧ shift + end
  • place the cursor at end of contents and hit ⇧ shift + home.
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The great thing about copying the contents of the cell rather than the cell itself is to grab the contents without any formatting (plain text). It really should have a one-step shortcut, but to my knowledge, it doesn't. Here's my workaround:

Select cell in question, hit any character to replace contents of the cell. Then hit ⌘Z to undo and boom, contents selected without any formatting!

A one-step shortcut workaround will require more effort, but can be achieved with the following Keyboard Maestro macro:

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I read this as 2 questions.

Q. Is there a keyboard shortcut key to select all the text in the current cell in Excel?

A. command+c for Mac or control+c for Windows while the cell is selected. Choose a new cell and command+v or control+v to paste.

Q. If you are in the process of editing the cell?

A. It is a two step process, command+a or control+a to select all, then command+c or control+c to copy.

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Can you confirm that command+a or control+a works for you to select all when editing a cell? It doesn't for me. – Lorin Hochstein Nov 15 '11 at 20:53
For some strange reason the first time I hit Cmd+A it didn't select it but I hit it again and it did and then it worked every time after that. Strange. – drewish Dec 22 '11 at 19:08
Neither ⌘-A nor ^-A works for me, when trying to edit the contents of a cell in Excel, not even pressing them multiple times as suggested by @drewish. – Paul Wagland Sep 20 '12 at 8:32

Do you want to select all the text, or do you really just want to copy it to the clipboard? If you want to copy all the text in a cell and don't care if it's selected:

Click on a cell or navigate to it using the keyboard. Do not double-click or not enter edit mode. Do not try to select anything. If you are already in edit mode for some reason, hit Esc.

Now just hit Control-C.

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Do you really mean <key>control</key> on OSX isn't it <key>Cmd</key>? – Mark Aug 14 '13 at 23:00

The quickest way I've found is the following: 1) tab/select the cell, 2) hit backspace to delete the contents of the cell 3) type Cntrl+Z to undo delete

When the undo function puts the text back into the cell, all text within that cell is automatically highlighted. Then you can just type Cntrl+C to copy text only.

I found that I needed to highlight all text in a cell in order to be able to paste it back inside another excel sheet whose cells already had other text that I had to leave intact.

Hope this helps!

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There is no direct way. Please refer the official page for this.

Use of native methods (go to end, use SHIFT+Arrow keys)... wondering why ^A is not supported there. MS S**ks sometimes.

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I'm using Windows, and I do this:

  1. Press F2 to edit the cell. The cursor will be at the end. (Also works by double clicking on the cell with the mouse; press End if the cursor is not at the end.)

  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Home. All text from the end to the beginning will be selected.

Note it doesn't work if you enter the cell by writing on it, you have to edit.

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This site is talking about OS X, where ctrl+shift+home does not do that. The equivalent in OS X is ⇧⌘←. – grgarside May 12 '15 at 18:41

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