How to Fix the F2 & F4 Keys in Excel for Macs

Here’s how to use Butler get the F2 and F4 keys to work in Excel for Macs:

1. Download & install Butler from Many Tricks.

2. Open up Butler and click on the Preferences tab and check the box next to “Launch Butler on log-in” (so Butler always starts up automatically in the background).

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 3.20.27 PM

3. Click on the “Configuration” tab and delete all the default shortcuts. (I’m sure there are some good ones so you may want to keep some of them, but I found them getting in the way of my regular shortcuts when I initially left them in place. Your call on how you want to handle that.)

To give you some context, here’s what the Configuration page looks like when all of the default options have been deleted and the Excel ones have been added (per the steps below):


4. In the Items section on the left side of the Configuration page, right click on the “Menu Bar (Left)” section, hover over Control in the popup menu, and select “Customize configuration…” This will add a little gears icon to the shortcuts area in the top of the Mac menu bar so it’s easy to get back to Butler in the future.

Here’s what the gears icon (on the far left) looks like in the Mac menu bar:

Butler Gears Icon in Mac Menu Bar

5. Right click in the “Hidden” section on of the Items section, hover over Smart Item, and then click on Keystrokes.

6. In the Inspector on the right side of the Configuration page, name the item “Excel F2” where it currently says “Keystrokes.”

7. Click on the Keys tab, click in the empty text box, and then type Control+U (i.e. hold down the Control key and hit the U key). If you did it correctly, you should now see “[^U]” in the box.

8. Click on the Triggers tab and click in the “Hot Key” field. Hit the F2 key. You’ll get a “Some applications might not respond properly to your input with the key combination “F2″ being reserved as a hot key.” message.  Hit the “Use “F2″ anyway” button.

9. Change the Exceptions drop down to “Only” instead of “Not” and then type “Excel,Microsoft Excel” in the Exceptions box.

10. Open up Excel and test the F2 key. It should now cause you to enter the selected cell (like in Excel on PCs) instead of copying the cell.

11. If it works, you’re done with the F2 key. Repeat the steps above for the F4 key, replacing “Control+U” with “Command-T” and “F2” with “F4”.

12. Test out the F4 key in Excel to make sure it’s working, and you should be good to go.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

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