Alvin Poh

Keyboard Shortcut to Lock Cells in Excel (Mac Office)

While using a Macbook for a period of time in 2013, I realised that there are some differences when using Mac Office and Windows Office. One example is if I wanted to lock a cell, say for example A1. I would put the dollar sign ($) in from of both the column and row number as follows: $A$1.

This still works in the Mac world if I enter it manually, but in the Windows version of Excel, there was a keyboard shortcut (highlight A1 in the formula bar and then press the F4 button) which would put the $ signs in for you. This method is, by far, very much less tedious than typing the dollar sign each time and moving the mouse to precisely the right location.

However, F4 doesn’t work in Mac. It was only after poking around did I find out that the Mac keyboard shortcut equivalent is not F4, but Apple key + T.

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  1. Apple – Think Differently….this post definitely proves that….heheheheheh….there are two kinds of computer users – those who have Macs and those that wish they do….I belong to the latter group.

  2. this was very helpful. thanks…been trying to find the damm F4 equivalent in mac excel haha

  3. Thank you so much!
    Do you what that command is called? I want to change the keyboard shortcut under view >> customize toolbars and menus.

    Thanks again!

  4. New to mac, the excel program is driving me insane. But I’m trying. I’m largely self-taught on the program too.

    I’m building a budgeting sheet right now. I’ve got several columns that fill in automatically. I want to ensure that I can’t accidentally modify the contents of these cells/interfere with the formula once I’ve set it up (I’m using a laptop…it happens!). Is there a way of selecting columns and cells to keep the format from being changed?

    Also, is the, erm, command key the same as the old Apple key? I had a mac as a kid…but don’t remember.

  5. Alvin

    August 16, 2009 — 11:32 pm

    Hey Liz, I’m more of a Windows-guy, so I don’t really know about the command key and old Apple key. However, I do know that you can protect cells from being edited – this can be found in the Format > Protection menu in Windows

  6. Hey dude, U rock, I short of words to explain how much your tip has helped me. Many thanks

  7. Hi there

    I’ve owned my very first IMac for two days now and I follow all the instructions I read on how to protect certain cells in one of our Excel spreadsheets (we easily did this when using Microsoft Excel on a PC) but the MAC version of Excel seems to only let you protect the whole sheet or nothing, there is not an option to just protect some of the cells. There’s got to be a way, I’ll just have to keep on searchin! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. thanks for that. its very useful information as I am new to mac.

  9. Thank you, but fuck I hate Excel for Mac.

  10. thank you. ditto Kalle.

  11. Thank you, ditto Kalle.

    Methinks Gates sabotaged it

  12. Thanks, ditto Kalle.

    This is just Microsofts way of getting back at Macs taking over.

  13. Anyone figure out how to edit a cell with a keyboard shortcut – on Windows it’s [F2] but for the life of me I can’t find anything on the Mac equivalent. How retarded is Microsoft? Or rather, how retarded are their product guys?

  14. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! :)

  15. Thanks mate, well found

  16. i had to google this because i was so lost trying to lock cell on a mac! thank you!

  17. Thank so much. It’s useful.

  18. and by “apple key” you mean…

  19. Actually I don’t get the lock cell by pressing the apple key and T, am I doing it correctly? pressing two key at the same time right?

  20. The “command T” keystroke works . Thanks for the solution to my ability to lock in a reference cell e.g. using my Mac vs the Windows version of key stroke f4,


  21. I tried the command and T but it did not work.. what am I doing wrong?

  22. I can’t thank you enough. I’m not a big Excel fan but this will patch up what I need to present until I get through some MATLAB code or R. Thanks a ton.

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