My Excel spreadsheet doesn’t scroll even though I can use the arrows to move around

Raymond Chen

I was sent a link to an Excel spreadsheet with instructions to look for my name and update the blah blah blah blah. When I opened the spreadsheet, I found that I couldn’t get it to scroll. I could use the arrow keys to move around: The coordinate indicator and the formula bar both updated to reflect where I had gone to, but the window wouldn’t scroll to show the current cell.

Eventually, I figured out what happened.

The panes were frozen.

To unfreeze them, go to the View tab, then open the Freeze Panes menu and select Unfreeze Panes.

What happened is that somebody had used the same menu and selected Freeze Panes while the current cell was somewhere around cell H50. This means that the first seven columns (A through G) and 49 rows (1 through 49) were locked in place, and any scrollable content appeared to the right and below.

They must have done this on a monitor far larger than mine, because my screen wasn’t big enough to show that many rows and columns. All of the scrollable content was being jammed into a region that didn’t even fit on the screen!


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  • Joshua Hudson 0

    I wonder if Raymond would still think larger screen if encountering a frozen area somewhere in the thousands of rows.

  • Henke37 0

    And here I was suspecting that it was the ScrollLock key. Yes, it actually does something in Excel. It’s even remarkably similiar to this other feature.

    • 紅樓鍮 0

      And the Insert key still does a thing in Word, which would actually be useful if proportional fonts weren’t as popular as they are, and if people still made tables with spaces, and if pressing Backspace recovered the overwritten character.

  • magnum2227 magnum2227 0

    > Freeze, and put your hands up!
    Shut up and tell me where you stashed the loot!

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