Skip to content

What the Function Keys Do in Excel

The function keys (F1 through F12) allow you to quickly and efficiently perform specific actions in Microsoft Excel.

The big question is – what do they all do?

In this article, I will show you.


The F1 key opens the Excel help panel.


The F2 key puts the active cell in edit mode with the cursor at the end of the contents of the cell.

From here, you can edit the formula or text of the cell.


The F3 key opens the Paste Name dialog box.

The Paste Name dialog box shows you a list of all range names that exist within the Excel workbook. You can use this box to insert the range name or list items from that range.


The F4 key changes the cell reference you are currently editing to relative, absolute, or mixed.

When not editing the contents of a cell, the F4 key repeats the action if possible. For example, if you add a blue fill color to cell B2.

You can repeat this action by selecting a different cell and pressing the F4 key.


The F5 key displays the Go To dialog box.

You can use the Go To dialog box to jump to specific cells.


With each press, the F6 key shifts the focus to the next item in the list below.

  1. The active worksheet tab
  2. The macro record button at the bottom of the workbook
  3. The ribbon tabs
  4. The active worksheet


The F7 key activates the spell-check feature of Excel.


The F8 key toggles extend mode on and off.

Whenever extend mode is activated, any click in the worksheet will extend the range from the currently active cell to the cell you click.


The F9 key re-calculates all open workbooks.


The F10 key shows the key tips in the ribbon, allowing you to use the keyboard to activate a command.


The F11 key creates a chart sheet using the data from a selected range.


The F12 key opens the Save As dialog box.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I have only ever really used F4, I didn’t realize that there are so many other keys with different abilities! I’m excited to explore this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top