This means that if press only the function keys in Excel, you'll end up controlling the Mac, and not Excel. To make function keys work like you expect in Excel, you need to add a key: You'll find the fn key in the lower left on your keyboard.
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Here are a few examples:. Here you can check a box that will that will change function key behavior to work like "standard function keys". If you do this, however, note that you won't be able to use function keys for things like Brightness, Volume, etc. In essence, this setting reverses behavior so that you need to use fn to control the Mac.
Personally, I like using the function keys to control the computer, so I leave this setting alone, and just the fn key when needed in Excel. Unless you're using an extended keyboard, keys like Home, End, backspace, Page up, and Page down are nowhere to be found. This is a problem, because many of these keys are used in Excel shortcuts. The solution is to use specific substitutions, as shown in the table below.
However, T hey can make some shortcuts seem complicated on a Mac because you have to use more keys. If you're using an extended keyboard on a Mac, you don't need to worry about substitutions, since you'll have keys for Home, End, Page up, etc.
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Extended keyboards have all the keys. In the world of shortcuts, perhaps the most painful difference on a Mac is a lack of ribbon shortcuts. In Excel on Windows, you can use so called accelerator keys to access almost every command in Excel using only your keyboard. This doesn't matter much when you're performing an action that has a dedicated shortcut i.
How to use Mac function keys with Excel
But when you want to trigger an action that doesn't have a dedicated shortcut like sort, hide gridlines, align text, etc. Excel ribbon in Windows with accelerator keys visible. No equivalent on the Mac!
With the introduction of Excel on the Mac, Microsoft has started to adjust Mac shortcuts to be more aligned with Windows. So far, all the shortcuts that have been adjusted to match Windows shortcuts remain backward compatible with previous Mac only shortcuts. If you want to master Excel keyboard shortcuts on a Mac, you need to take a moment to understand how the Mac keyboard is arranged, and how it can be configured through system preferences. This is especially important with Excel, which uses a number of function keys for shortcuts.
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Modern Mac computers using an Apple keyboard have icons printed on some of the keys on the top row of the keyboard. These keys F1 - F12 are called function keys.
Excel shortcuts on the Mac
The default behavior of Mac function keys is to perform the action indicated by the icon printed on the key. For example, the function key F10 has a small picture of a speaker, and pressing this key mutes and un-mutes the system volume. If you want to instead use F1 - F12 as standard function keys, hold the Fn key while pressing the function key.
For example, Fn-F10 will perform the action assigned to the F10 key instead of toggling mute on or off. A setting in System Preferences, in the Keyboard pane, controls default behavior for function keys. The setting is a checkbox labeled "Use all F1, F2, etc.
How To: F2 in Excel for Mac Update: February Microsoft Excel Tips • Excel Semi-Pro
When unchecked, function keys will perform as described in 1 above. If you check the checkbox, F1 - F12 will behave standard function keys, and you will need to press Fn in order to perform the actions indicated by special icons. In general, unless you are using Excel all day on a Mac, you will probably find it more convenient to leave the default behavior alone and learn to use the Fn key for certain shortcuts in Excel. This is because it's nice to be able to access the Mac dashboard, brightness, and volume without having to press Fn at the same time.