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?

  • 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
  • I want to copy the text in the cell without formatting. If I just Ctrl+Copy the cell and paste it in another program it includes the formatting. The best answer, by Lorena, is to edit the cell (F2) and then press Ctrl+Shift+Home. If you started the edit with a double-click (so the cursor isn't at the end of the cell), first press Ctrl+End and then Ctrl+Shift+Home. – Steve A Sep 18 '17 at 14:46
  • ^-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.

Note that in later versions of Excel, the “Windows” equivalents, made by substituting the alt for control, also work.

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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

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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  • Not the most intuitive approach, but the best - and easiest to remember here. – Tony Cronin Mar 8 '18 at 21:50

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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  • This solution IS an excellent workaround, but I can't get it to work on my Excel 2007. Looks like the "ctrl+c" action used during the macro recording isn't saved. (A dummy macro emptying my cell works perfectly, but one copying contents doesn't). Also, I recorded my macros to my "personal workbook", since I didn't want my macro sepecific to one file, but... I can't even delete them now. Hell, I just would like to select my cell's contents... giving up for the moment, my nerves need some rest. – Balmipour Jan 4 '18 at 10:44

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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  • 1
    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
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    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
  • I don't think that's what they're asking, they seem to be asking it so they can quickly copy-paste the text content into other programs without having to worry about MS Excel bringing any formatting over with it. – GeorgeWL May 3 '18 at 11:01

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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  • This does NOT work with multi-line contents (only the 1st line). Using Excel 2007 – Balmipour Jan 4 '18 at 10:29

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 ⇧⌘←. – grg May 12 '15 at 18:41

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 CMD-C.

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  • 1
    Do you really mean <key>control</key> on OSX isn't it <key>Cmd</key>? – mmmmmm Aug 14 '13 at 23:00
  • You're right, it's CMD. I'll edit my response. – MadReasonable Feb 1 '17 at 21:48

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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