Using keyboard shortcuts in Apple Numbers

Using keyboard shortcuts in Apple Numbers

The Numbers app for Spreadsheet gives you the ability to capture a lot of data quickly, but you may not know how to use your keyboard to your advantage. […]

Suggestions for cells to edit in the Numbers app may lead you to accept one of the suggested options that you actually did not intend. Here you can get a quick overview of the most important keyboard shortcuts.

When you type something in a cell, Numbers automatically displays a list of matching options based on the first entered letters of all other entries in the same column of the table. These three keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with suggestions:

  • The down and up arrow keys allow you to select one of the existing entries, or you can click in the drop-down list.
  • Press the right arrow key to accept your input and ignore the suggestions, otherwise you may accidentally select a suggestion.
  • Instead of clicking or using the arrow keys, press the Esc key to reset the contents of the cell to the state before accepting a proposal.
  • If you find these suggestions unhelpful or distracting, go to Numbers > Settings > General and uncheck the option “Show suggestions when editing cells”.

Three other useful keyboard shortcuts are related to editing within a cell:

  • If you use the arrow keys to navigate to a cell, press Option-Return to edit the contents of the cell. The input position is placed at the end of the cell content.
  • Press Enter to apply your changes.
  • Press Esc to exit the editing mode without applying your changes.

Glenn Fleishman’s latest books include Take Control of iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security, Second Edition (for iOS 15/iPadOS 15), Take Control of Your M-Series Mac, and Take Control of Securing Your Mac. In his free time he writes about printing and writing history. He is a senior fellow at Macworld, where he writes the Mac 911 series of articles.

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