Cell Basics

In Excel cell function and references are helpful to better understand Excel spreadsheets. Use Excel cell reference functions as well.

Cell content

Any information you enter into a spreadsheet will be stored in a cell. Each cell can contain different types of content, including text, formatting, formulas, and functions.

To insert content:

  1. Click a cell to select it. In our example, we'll select cell F9.
    selecting cell F9
  2. Type something into the selected cell, then press Enter on your keyboard. The content will appear in the cell and the formula bar. You can also input and edit cell content in the formula bar.

To delete (or clear) cell content:

  1. Select the cell(s) with content you want to delete. In our example, we'll select the cell range A10:H10.
    selecting cells A10:H10
  2. Select the Clear command on the Home tab, then click Clear Contents.
    selecting the Clear Contents command
  3. The cell contents will be deleted.
    the cleared cell range

You can also use the Delete key on your keyboard to delete content from multiple cells at once. The Backspace key will only delete content from one cell at a time.

To delete cells:

There is an important difference between deleting the content of a cell and deleting the cell itself. If you delete the entire cell, the cells below it will shift to fill in the gaps and replace the deleted cells.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to delete. In our example, we'll select A10:H10.

    selecting cell range A10:H10

  2. Select the Delete command from the Home tab on the Ribbon.
    clicking the Delete command on the Home tab
  3. The cells below will shift up and fill in the gaps.
    the shifted cells after deleting