How to Change the Cursor in Microsoft Excel

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel is a versatile spreadsheet program that allows users to quickly and easily enter data of any kind. Its layout is a grid structure where the data is organized by rows and columns. Once entered into the program, Excel offers a robust set of tools for navigating around the data, manipulating the content and performing analysis. The Windows mouse cursor is used to distinguish between the different actions a user may complete using nothing more than the mouse. These features make it possible to perform many functions on the data quickly. It is easy to change the cursor in Excel so you may access these tools.

Step 1

Open Excel.

Step 2

Navigate around the spreadsheet. The mouse cursor remains as a white plus sign whenever the cursor is located over a cell in any of the program's rows or columns.

Step 3

Hover the mouse over a cell that is currently selected to change the cursor to other designs that reflect certain actions. Selected cells have a dark black border around them, and their contents are also displayed in the program's formula bar above the spreadsheet grid. When the mouse is placed along any of the cell's borders, it turns to a quadruple arrow. When displayed, this cursor may be clicked and dragged to move the contents of the cell to another cell.

Step 4

Position the mouse over the lower right corner of the selected cell. The cursor changes to a black plus sign. This is the "fill handle" and may be used to quickly copy and paste the cell's contents to any adjacent cells. Simply drag the cursor in any direction and the cells copied.

Step 5

Hover the mouse over any part of the Excel formula bar. This is the long white strip at the top of the program window. It is labeled at its start with the term "fx." The cursor will change to a standard text input cursor, resembling a capital letter "I". When displayed, you may click in the formula bar to edit cell contents. The same cursor will appear if you double-click in any cell.

Step 6

Position the mouse over any toolbar button or menu at the top of the program and the mouse cursor will change to a standard Windows pointer so you may click and access those tools.