I'm on a Mac, using Chrome. When I type abcde in a cell in Google Sheets, and then want to move the cursor to the left within abcde in order to backspace c, I have to manually click the cell to focus it, like this:

If I don't manually click the cell, then if I press Left <, it skips to the lefthand cell like this:

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What I Want To Know: Is there a keyboard shortcut to 'focus' the cell so that I don't have to manually click it in order to be able to move the cursor around within it?

  • What operative system and web browser are you using? Are you open to use a different one? – Rubén Apr 20 at 20:28
  • I'm on a Mac, using Chrome. I probably wouldn't switch to a different one, but if it works on only certain browsers I'd be interested to understand the difference :) – gkeenley Apr 20 at 20:28
  • Google Sheets on Windows and Chrome, the arrows keys work as you (and I) expect it. I don't know why this doesn't work on Mac... I would like to know this shortcut too. – Rubén Apr 20 at 20:31
  • @Rubén Do you know the name for the 'focusing' property we're talking about? That would help me dig into it more. – gkeenley Apr 20 at 23:29
  • Ass CSS selector input:focus as event ì.e. on a JavaScript event listener focus, pressing a key keydown ("pushing down" a key) / keyup (releasing a key "pushed down") – Rubén Apr 21 at 4:30

Press the Enter key to open a cell for editing, then enter abcde or whatever input. The arrow keys will be available to move within the cell the way you describe.

  • If I type abcde and press Enter, it skips to the cell below – gkeenley Apr 20 at 19:49
  • Press the Enter key to open the cell for editing, then type abcde. – doubleunary Apr 21 at 5:44
  • Ok understood. If you press Enter immediately after you've selected the cell, it does focus it. The only remaining problem is if you just select the cell WITHOUT pressing Enter, then enter text, then there doesn't seem to be a keyboard shortcut to focus the text at that point other than manually clicking. Is that your understanding too? – gkeenley Apr 21 at 19:10
  • The problem with the Enter solution is that I'd have to press Enter whenever I start editing any cell just in case I want to be able to shift around within the text. I'd like to find a keyboard shortcut that I could use on the fly if I've typed abcde and THEN decide that I want to shift back. – gkeenley Apr 21 at 19:22
  • I don't think there is a keyboard shortcut for that. To do what you want, always start by pressing Enter. If you have already started entering text, press Enter up arrow Enter. – doubleunary Apr 21 at 19:35

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