Keyboard Shortcut to Lock Cells in Excel (Mac Office)

//Keyboard Shortcut to Lock Cells in Excel (Mac Office)

Keyboard Shortcut to Lock Cells in Excel (Mac Office)

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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By |2014-06-19T04:53:33+00:00February 28th, 2009|Miscellaneous|33 Comments

About the Author:

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+.


  1. G Web March 12, 2009 at 10:54 am - Reply

    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 March 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm - Reply

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

  3. Thomas July 3, 2009 at 9:17 am - Reply


  4. Lee July 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Alvin July 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm - Reply

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

  5. Liz August 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    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.

  6. Alvin August 16, 2009 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    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

  7. Jt September 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm - Reply

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

  8. Faith November 30, 2009 at 9:09 am - Reply

    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.

  9. Amit January 29, 2010 at 6:20 am - Reply

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

  10. Nadz July 7, 2010 at 6:55 am - Reply


  11. Anthony August 1, 2010 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Thank you 🙂

  12. jerrin November 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    thank you : )

  13. Kalle November 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you, but fuck I hate Excel for Mac.

  14. Ken December 1, 2010 at 1:16 am - Reply

    thank you. ditto Kalle.

  15. Den February 10, 2011 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Thank you, ditto Kalle.

    Methinks Gates sabotaged it

  16. Tyler February 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks, ditto Kalle.

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

  17. Brian February 22, 2011 at 12:45 am - Reply

    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?

  18. Julie March 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm - Reply


  19. Tom June 10, 2011 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Thanks mate, well found

  20. Slow June 1, 2012 at 5:28 am - Reply

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

  21. Seyhak June 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Thank so much. It’s useful.

  22. maca November 22, 2013 at 12:17 am - Reply

    and by “apple key” you mean…

  23. Chris June 18, 2014 at 11:49 am - Reply

    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?

    • Alvin Poh June 19, 2014 at 4:54 am - Reply

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

  24. Jim Hodge February 5, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    The “command T” keystroke works . Thanks for the solution to my ability to lock in a reference cell e.g. using my Mac vs the Windows version of key stroke f4,


  25. Katie August 14, 2015 at 8:41 am - Reply

    I tried the command and T but it did not work.. what am I doing wrong?

  26. Thai October 25, 2015 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I can’t thank you enough. I’m not a big Excel fan but this will patch up what I need to present until I get through some MATLAB code or R. Thanks a ton.

  27. MJ January 29, 2018 at 4:06 pm - Reply


  28. Anonymous April 7, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply


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