Nasty little F Lock key…

No really, that is it’s name!

I was trying to figure out why pressing F4 wasn’t toggling from relative to absolute referencing in my Excel formulas, and was starting to think I found a bug in Excel 2013.  But then other stuff started to get weird too…

  • F4, which I use to toggle absolute and relative formulas all the time seemed to do nothing.  But when I was just in a worksheet, and not the formula, it opened a new workbook.
  • F2, which I use to get into formula editing mode, started undoing my last action… which is really scary as I still don’t know if I un-did anything important. I only actually realized this after I typed a formula, clicked on it, pressed F2 and it went away!
  • Alt F11, to get in the visual basic editor did nothing at all.  What the…?

After finding out that it was doing the same thing in a new workbook in Excel 2010, I realized that this was bigger than just Excel.

Apparently I fat-fingered the F Lock key on my (Microsoft Natural) keyboard, which tells the keyboard to start using alternate commands.

Gave me a bit of a heart attack on a Friday afternoon!

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