Why Am I Back There Again?

Have you ever scrolled a long way through an MS Excel worksheet and, while you were looking around, hit an arrow key to move? If so, you found yourself right back where you started, didn’t you?

What happened?

I mean, you were a hundred lines down and now you’re right back at the top.

Don’t panic! You’re not hallucinating, the program isn’t malfunctioning and you didn’t do anything wrong.

Here’s the deal: Scrolling (with either the scroll bars or the mouse wheel) is simply changing the view on the screen, but not actually selecting new cells.

In fact, if you pay attention to the selected cell outline, you’ll find that it scrolls out of sight, staying right where it was.

So, when you hit an arrow key (or the Enter key), you take the selection of the original cell and move it only one cell away. The program then zips the view back to the cell you just selected, giving you the sense that something went wrong.

If you want to select a cell in the current view, you’ll need to use your mouse to select it. That will keep the view right where you put it.

On the other hand, you could use this to your advantage to “take a look around” while scrolling. You can then hit an arrow key to zoom right back to the location you left, completely skipping having to scroll back!

Either way, now you know what’s going on and you’ll hopefully find Excel’s movements a little less mystifying!

~ April