Status Bar

Message Area Message Area

The Message area on the left of the Status Bar shows your status and gives hints about what you are doing. You'll see things like:

Preview: Page 1 of 3 
Select destination and press ENTER or choose Paste.

Tip Some messages, like Edit, are mode indicators, too. When in Edit mode, your standard keys for navigating (arrow keys, TAB, ENTER) behave as they do in Word. This is what you need when you want to edit what is in a cell.

Web Query Web Query indicator on Status Bar

The globe spins while a Web Query is running. A Web query gets data from a source over the Internet. Stock market prices, for example, are available this way and are displayed as an Excel worksheet once the data is downloaded to your computer.

The command to start a Web Query is on the menu:  Data  |  Get External Data  |  New Web Query 

AutoCalculate AutoCalculate on the Status Bar

The AutoCalculate area will use the current selection in the spreadsheet to do one of 6 standard calculations.

AutoCalculating the SUM of cells

You can switch to another calculation. Right click the status bar to see the popup menu listing the functions you can choose. Click on the function you want. This is useful for quick checks, especially for counting the number of cells in a selection.

Menu of functions for AutoCalculate

Mode Indicators Modes on Status Bar  Modes on Status Bar

The mode indicators on the right end of the Status Bar show when certain features are turned on. Unlike in Word, double-clicking these indicators does not toggle them on and off. You must use the keyboard.

TipIf your keystrokes are not producing the expected result, check to see if one of the mode indicators is on.

Mode Key Action


Caps Lock 

Makes your letters upper case.


Num Lock

Allows the keypad on the right to enter numbers.


Scroll Lock

Affects the way certain key combos scroll the screen.



Certain key combos produce different motions in End mode. Scroll Lock must be off to use End mode.



 If you are editing a cell, the INSERT key toggles overtyping on and off.


To see the whole list of key combos affected, look at the Help article on keyboard shortcuts:
    First, open Excel's Help and search for "keyboard shortcuts".

Icon: Excel 97 Icon: Excel 2000 Choose "Keys for moving and scrolling in a worksheet or workbook" from the Keyboard Shortcuts article.

Icon: Excel 2003 In the task pane, open the topic Keyboard shortcuts, and read the articles "Move and scroll in End mode" and "Move and scroll with SCROLL LOCK on".

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