I can't find the keyboard shortcut for this on the mac. It's F2 on a windows machine.

5 Answers 5


Office for Windows: F2
Office for Mac: Ctrl + U

  • 1
    Ctrl-U just underlines the text , does not edit it. May 24, 2015 at 23:30
  • 2
    That would be command + U
    – Fuad Saud
    Jun 15, 2015 at 19:42
  • I just did it with Ctrl+U.
    – Merchako
    Dec 10, 2020 at 3:43
  • 1
    Vouching for this answer. I am on Microsoft Excel for Mac v16 Volume License 2019. Ctrl+U works for editing cells.
    – addicted
    Feb 2, 2021 at 10:29

The problem is that the shortcut has been changed for earlier versions of excel.

F2 used to work on Excel versions before 2011. For the 2011 excel version use ctrl + U instead.

  • 1
    I wonder why Microsoft change it? I have been using Windows in work for years, and now I use Mac at home. It would be great if I didn't have to learn a whole new set of shortcuts. (Ctrl-I and Ctrl- for adding and removing rows, for example. Any others? Jul 22, 2013 at 1:41
  • 1
    I think it's just F- keys, e.g. it's cmd-t instead of F4 to add $ to formulas. I think it's because newer versions of Mac OS do system things with F keys so applications don't know they've been pressed. Jan 29, 2014 at 17:17

I believe F2 still works, its just that on macs now, to get F2, you need to press fn+F2, otherwise it does the alternative function, which in my mac is to brighten the screen.

  • No, in Office 2011, Fn F2 does "cut" as a shortcut. Ctrl+U only lets you start editing in the cell. It does not actually bring you into the Formula Bar (not the Formula Builder, which is something else).
    – Jon V
    Nov 21, 2015 at 22:49

Excel for Mac 2016: F2

The most recent version of Office for Mac (2016) changed a number of keyboard shortcuts to create greater similarity across Windows and Mac versions of the software. Ctrl + U appears to no longer work as a shortcut key for editing cells in Excel 2016 for Mac. Instead the F2 key must be used. Depending on the keyboard settings on your particular Mac, to trigger F2 (instead of increasing screen brightness), you may have to hold down the "function" key (fn) while also hitting F2. To modify this behavior, go to System Preferences > Keyboard and check or uncheck "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys."

  • 3
    Both Control+U and F2 work for me in Excel 2016 16.13.1
    – Errol
    May 25, 2018 at 15:24

Here is the complete list: Shortcuts

  • 1
    Although this provides an answer to the question, it would be significantly better if you also added the relevant sections from the linked text in the body of your answer.
    – JMY1000
    Mar 13, 2016 at 0:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .