Back when I used Excel you could easily do all the navigation and editing on a spreadsheet with the keyboard. I could navigate around with the arrow keys and hit F2 to edit a cell and start typing.

In Numbers '09 I can navigate easily using the arrows then start typing to overwrite the contents of a cell. But I can't figure out how to navigate to a cell and then edit its contents without clicking on the cell with the mouse[1].

Is there an easy way to do this without the mouse?

1 - Okay, so I did figure out one way (+C, space, backspace, +V) but it's such a hack that the mouse starts looking better.

2 Answers 2



Or just return if you've unchecked Return key moves to next cell in the inspector:

enter image description here

  • I can't find this option any more in Numbers 4.0. However, Alt+Enter works anyway.
    – thSoft
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:44
  • If there is a formula in the cell, Control+= will open up the formula editor (as will Option+Return as mentioned).
    – George C
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 2:41

There are two ways to change the content of a cell using the keyboard:

  1. Navigate to the desired cell with the arrow keys and then simply start typing. The previous content of the cell (if there was any) will be replaced.
  2. Navigate to the desired cell with the arrow keys and the press ALT+Return. The content of the cell will not be replaced and the cursor appears at the end of the cell content.
  • I went with Lri's answer because you'd repeated what I'd mentioned in the question about overwriting and they'd added the tip about changing the return key's behavior.
    – drewish
    Commented Dec 24, 2011 at 15:01
  • Still frustrating that there is no option to switch (1) and (2) 😭. I always want to have cursor navigation within my cells.
    – Klaas
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 13:07

You must log in to answer this question.

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