Finding the F4 Key for Excel on a Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding the F4 key for Excel on a Mac can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re used to a PC keyboard. However, with a few simple steps, you can easily locate and use the F4 function in Excel on your Mac. The F4 key is commonly used to repeat the last action or to enter cell references that are absolute instead of relative. Let’s dive into how you can find and use the F4 key on a Mac for Excel.

Step by Step Tutorial: Finding the F4 Key for Excel on a Mac

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what the following steps will achieve. We’ll walk through how to locate the F4 function on your Mac keyboard and how to use it within Excel. This will streamline your workflow and make repetitive tasks in Excel a breeze.

Step 1: Identify the ‘Function’ (Fn) key on your Mac keyboard

On most Mac keyboards, the function keys are located at the top, but they are primarily used for system controls like volume or brightness. To use them as standard function keys, you’ll need to hold down the ‘Fn’ key, typically found at the bottom left of your keyboard.

Holding down the ‘Fn’ key will allow you to use the F1 to F12 keys for their intended purposes, such as the F4 key in Excel. This is essential to know because Mac keyboards differ from PC keyboards, where function keys have dedicated roles.

Step 2: Press ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ within Excel

Once you’ve located the ‘Fn’ key, simply press and hold it down, then press the ‘F4’ key while working in Excel.

By doing this, you can repeat your last action in Excel, which is a nifty shortcut that can save you time, especially when performing repetitive tasks. For example, if you just formatted a cell with bold text, pressing ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ will apply bold formatting to any other selected cell.

Step 3: Use ‘Command’ + ‘T’ as an alternative to ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’

If you find the ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ combination awkward to use, you can also use ‘Command’ + ‘T’. This keyboard shortcut serves a similar purpose in Excel for Mac, allowing you to lock cell references when creating formulas.

This alternative method is great for those who are more accustomed to using ‘Command’ shortcuts on their Mac and can help you work more efficiently in Excel.

After completing these steps, you’ll be able to use the F4 function in Excel on your Mac just as you would on a PC. This will make it easier for you to perform tasks that require repetitive actions, such as formatting or entering formulas. Plus, knowing these shortcuts can significantly enhance your productivity in Excel.

Tips for Finding the F4 Key for Excel on a Mac

  • Familiarize yourself with the Mac keyboard layout, as it’s different from a PC’s.
  • Remember that the ‘Fn’ key allows you to access the standard function keys on a Mac.
  • Practice using the ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ and ‘Command’ + ‘T’ shortcuts until they become second nature.
  • Explore other Excel shortcuts for Mac to further maximize your efficiency.
  • Don’t forget that you can customize keyboard shortcuts in Excel preferences if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the F4 key do in Excel?

The F4 key in Excel is commonly used to repeat your last action. For example, if you just changed the font color of a cell, pressing F4 will apply that same font color to any other selected cell. Additionally, when editing a formula, pressing F4 will cycle through different reference types (absolute, relative, and mixed).

Can I use the F4 key on a Mac the same way I do on a PC?

Yes, you can, but the process is slightly different since Mac keyboards don’t have a dedicated F4 key for Excel functions. By using ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ or ‘Command’ + ‘T’, you can achieve the same result.

Why doesn’t my Mac have an F4 key?

Your Mac does have an F4 key, but it’s assigned to system functions by default, such as opening Launchpad. To use it for Excel functions, you need to press the ‘Fn’ key along with it.

Can I change the keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Mac?

Absolutely! If you go into Excel’s preferences, you can customize the keyboard shortcuts to your liking. This can be particularly useful if you’re transitioning from a PC to a Mac and want to maintain a similar workflow.

What are some other useful Excel shortcuts for Mac?

There are plenty of shortcuts that can help enhance your productivity in Excel for Mac. Some examples include ‘Command’ + ‘C’ for copy, ‘Command’ + ‘V’ for paste, ‘Command’ + ‘Z’ for undo, and ‘Command’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Z’ for redo.


  1. Locate the ‘Fn’ key on your Mac keyboard.
  2. Press ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’ within Excel.
  3. Use ‘Command’ + ‘T’ as an alternative to ‘Fn’ + ‘F4’.


Mastering the use of the F4 key for Excel on a Mac can give you a significant advantage when working with spreadsheets. While the Mac keyboard layout may seem challenging at first, especially for those accustomed to a PC, understanding how to utilize the function keys can unlock a new level of efficiency. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll not only be able to locate and use the F4 key but also enhance your overall Excel experience.

Remember, proficiency in Excel comes with practice. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shortcuts and find what works best for you. And if you ever find yourself stumbling, revisit these tips and FAQs to refresh your memory. The F4 key for Excel on a Mac is within your reach, and once you’ve got it down, you’ll be handling spreadsheets like a pro in no time!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy