Using MS Excel 2010

I can copy ASCII plain text from a separate text document and paste the text into a cell (I first enter cell edit mode before pasting with Ctrl+V or Shift+Ins). After pasting, Excel remains in edit mode. However, when I use my keyboard's arrow keys to navigate the text I just pasted, it instead takes me out of edit mode and moves to the next cell.

This seems to only occur after I've pasted data into the cell. If I go back to the cell after using my arrow key to leave it, I can then press F2 or double-click the cell to re-enter edit mode at which point the arrow keys navigate the text as I originally intended.

How do I stay in this edit mode to use my arrow keys for navigating text immediately after pasting data? I'm very close to eating my keyboard.

EDIT: The behavior I'm describing only occurs when you enter edit mode the first time (to paste the data) by double-clicking with the cursor. Apparently if I enter edit mode with F2 the first time, I don't have this irritating behavior. If this turns out to be the only solution, I'll add it as the answer.

  • 2
    Unfortunately, that is expected behaviour. To be fair, that is probably the most common use case. It could be just as frustrating to other people to have the opposite effect. Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 20:12
  • 1
    It is expected behavior for arrow keys to navigate cells while in edit mode? also note that the behavior is different depending on how you entered edit mode (see edit)
    – ardnew
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 20:15
  • 1
    No, expected on paste. Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 20:18
  • So then you're saying the behavior on paste after entering edit mode with F2 is unexpected
    – ardnew
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 20:20
  • Nope, as per the answer below, that is a different way of interacting. Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


You can try to select the cell you wish to paste in, then put your pointer in the edit box at the top and click there to give that focus, then paste, then you can still use the arrow keys in edit mode. It's one extra step, but it works.

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