Keyboard Shortcut to Lock Cells in Excel (Mac Office)

by Alvin Poh | Sat, Feb 28, 2009


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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- Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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28 Comments For This Post

  1. G Web Says:

    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. alwyn Says:

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

  3. Thomas Says:


  4. Lee Says:

    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!

  5. Alvin Says:

    While I do know how that command functions, unfortunately I have no clue what it’s called :P

  6. Liz Says:

    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.

  7. Alvin Says:

    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

  8. Jt Says:

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

  9. Faith Says:

    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.

  10. Alvin Says:

    hey there! maybe this would help?

  11. Faith Says:

    Thanks, but this I had already tried when I made my post. Didn’t work at all for MAC but yes, this is how we had been doing it on our Microsoft PC.

  12. Amit Says:

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

  13. Nadz Says:


  14. Anthony Says:

    Thank you :)

  15. jerrin Says:

    thank you : )

  16. Kalle Says:

    Thank you, but fuck I hate Excel for Mac.

  17. Ken Says:

    thank you. ditto Kalle.

  18. Den Says:

    Thank you, ditto Kalle.

    Methinks Gates sabotaged it

  19. Tyler Says:

    Thanks, ditto Kalle.

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

  20. Brian Says:

    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?

  21. Alvin Says: :)

  22. Julie Says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! :)

  23. Tom Says:

    Thanks mate, well found

  24. Slow Says:

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

  25. Seyhak Says:

    Thank so much. It’s useful.

  26. maca Says:

    and by “apple key” you mean…

  27. Chris Says:

    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?

  28. Alvin Poh Says:

    Yes that’s right, and you should see the $ signs appear

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