Before going into further detail regarding data input, there are a few key guidelines to remember:

  • Before making a data input, you must first choose the cell where you wish to make the entry.
  • Any entry you create in a cell that already has data overwrites the previous one.
  • Before the input in any cell is formally entered, you must finish it with some incident, including pressing the Enter key on the Formula bar (the icon with the checkmark that shows when you begin entering data), tapping the Enter key, or picking a new cell.

We realize that the first rule seems self-evident, but you’d be amazed how many times you glance at the cell where you want to enter new data and then proceed to input that data without recognizing that you haven’t yet shifted the cell pointer to that cell. Consequently, the data you’re entering isn’t going into the cell where you wanted it to go. In actuality, you’re creating an entry in whichever cell the cell cursor is now in, and if that cell is already filled, you’re substituting it with the one you intended to go someplace else!

Data Entry Keyboard Style

The only secret to entering data from the keypad is to find out how to finish the input in the current cell in the most effective manner possible (and Excel gives you many options in this regard). Of obviously, you may finish any data entering by pressing the Enter key on the Formula bar (apparently, this is what Microsoft meant; else, why include the button?), but pressing this button while the mouse cursor isn’t near to it is inefficient. Another possible disadvantage of using the Enter key on the Formula bar to finish an input is: Excel does not change the cell pointer when you do this; instead, it stays in the cell containing the new data input. This implies that you must still move the cell pointer before proceeding to the next data input. The Enter key is preferable since it ends the input in the cell and advances the cell pointer down to the following row’s cell.

Of course, hitting the Enter button is only useful if you’re entering data into a table or a list and want to move each row to the next column. If you wish to insert data over each table column or list down further rows, hitting Enter is ineffective. Instead, use the key or the Tab key to finish each input (at least until you come to the cell in the table’s final column), since clicking these keys ends the entry while also moving the cell pointer to the next cell just on the right.

Take a look at the chart below to see which keys you most often utilize to finish data inputs. Please remember, though, that every key combination that advances the cell pointer and clicks another cell in the spreadsheet completes the data entering.

If you already have more than one worksheet chosen and make an entry in the serving cell, Excel makes the same input in all selected worksheets’ related cells. When Sheet1 through Sheet3 is chosen, you may type Cost Analysis in cell C3 of Sheet1, and Excel will also type Cost Analysis in cell C3 of Sheet2 and Sheet3.

AutoComplete Feature in Excel 2021

Excel has a function called AutoComplete by default, which aims to automate entirely textual data inputs (i.e., entries that don’t blend text and numbers). This is how AutoComplete works: If you start a new text entry with the same letter or letters as a recent text entry in the same area of the worksheet, Excel fills in the blanks with characters from the prior text entry that started with those letters.

For example, if you put the spreadsheet heading Sales Invoice in a cell named A1 of a new worksheet and then start typing the table title Summary in column A2, Excel wraps up the new text entry by inserting the letters ales Invoice as soon as you begin S in cell A2.

The characters that the AutoComplete function adds to the first letter or letters that you input are automatically picked when the new text entry is completed (indicated by highlighting). If you don’t want to duplicate the previous text input in the new cell, you may type the following letter in the new (and distinct) entry to substitute the letters that Excel inserts. The ales Invoice text attached to the S that you write vanishes when you type U in Summary in the preceding example because Sales Invoice was duplicated in the column where you wish to input Summary. Hit a key (including Tab, Enter, or an arrow key), hit the Enter button on the Formula bar, or click another cell to finish the completed input in that cell, rather than overriding it as in the previous example.


Together with AutoComplete, Excel also offers an AutoCorrect tool that corrects specific mistakes in text inputs as soon as they are completed. For instance, if you fail to capitalize a weekday, AutoCorrect will do it for you (replacing friday with Friday in a cell as soon as you finish the entry). Similarly, if you type a term that starts with two upper case letters, AutoCorrect lowercases the next capital letter (so that QUarter typed into a cell change to Quarter upon finishing the cell entry).

In addition to apparent capitalization problems, AutoCorrect also corrects frequent typos such as converting hsi to his (an evident transfer of two letters) or inthe (an obvious sign of a missing space between two letters). You may add your errors to the list of automated replacements, in addition to the faults currently identified by AutoCorrect.

To do so, open the AutoCorrect dialogue box and fill in the Substitute and with text boxes on the AutoCorrect tab, as shown in Figure below. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to File Options, then the Proofing tab (Alt+FTP), then the AutoCorrect Options button. For your language, such as English, the AutoCorrect dialogue box appears (U.S.).

2. Click the AutoCorrect tab to see the AutoCorrect choices if they aren’t already visible in the dialogue box.

3. In the Replace text box, type the mistake exactly as you would normally type it.

4. In the with text box, type in the substitute that AutoCorrect should produce (please, no mistakes!). Double-check the misspelling in the Replace text box, and double-check the replacement in the with text box. Continue to Step 5 if everything seems OK.

5. To add your new AutoCorrect substitute to the list of automatic replacements, click the Add button.

6. To exit the AutoCorrect dialogue box, click the OK button.

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