F4 key to toggle between relative and absolute reference in excel does not work

Posted on 2012-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-09-15
I use continuously f4 to toggle between relative and absolute references in excel ( both excel 2003 and 20100 without any problems till a day ago when the key seems to have been disabled. I do not use much the other f keys so cannot say whether it is all the F keys.
I am hoping that this problem can be fixed easily! I do not know how I can enable or disable a function key.
Question by:daniques

    Author Comment

    I have to add the key worked very well for months.
    I am using windows 7 and excel 2010, but have not changed anything. I suspect I used a keyboard combination or something like that that disabled the F4 key.
    F5 works fine ( it brings me to the "GO TO" and so does F9.
    I am not using a laptop, but a desktop, and I do not have a F lock key on my computer. The keyboard is the simplest form, with the keys going from F1 to F12 , then the PrtSc SysReq key, Scroll lock, Pause break keys. That is all the extra keys there are.
    I am really wondering what could have happened.
    Googling the problem I find the answers are all regarding laptop users or the F lock key.
    I am sure others have had the problem too at somes tage, I just cannot find the right answer as yet!
    Many thanks for all the help on a very niggling problem.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Danièle - The first, best thing to confirm is that you don't simply have a faulty key.  Do you have another keyboard that you know works that you can swap out and test?
    LVL 50

    Accepted Solution


    another test that you could run is to check if the F4 key performs the other function it is assigned.

    Have some text in two different cells. Format the first cell with a fill, click the second cell and hit F4. That should repeat the formatting.

    Are you using any add-ins that may impact on the way the F4 key works? Start Excel in Safe Mode by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking the Excel icon,  to disable any add-ins that might be responsible. Does the F4 key work then?

    cheers, teylyn

    Author Closing Comment

    Good afternoon!

    Sorry for the delay in replying! I missed the messages somehow.

    I tried the Safe mode first, and... The F4 toggling worked!
    I closed Excel and restarted it without the Ctrl key, and it still worked.

    The problem seems to be resolved, but what happened?

    Does that mean that excel has disabled one of my add-ins? I am planning to go through the disabled add-ins one by one to test them. I do have several of those disabled for some reason. I tend to un-tick most of my add-ins if I know I will not use them to speed up the loading of Excel. That is not disabling them though. I am not quite sure when or why I have a few add-ins disabled. These add-ins happen to be add-ins that I rarely use, so did not miss them.

    What would cause Excel at any time to disable an add-in when it worked OK in previous occasions? I am just puzzled as it is after all simply code, and should remain unchanged.
    This is mainly curiosity as in the meantime, all works again albeit some add-ins that I will now go through and try and figure which ones cause trouble, or rather which one prevented the toggling.

    Many many thanks!


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