Visually show which cells are selected even when another application has focus
Currently, when I select one or more cells and then switch to another application, the boundary box and shading for the selected cells are not shown. Other Office applications exhibit this behavior as well--selection highlighting is only displayed when the program has focus. Many (most?) non-Office applications show the highlighting at all times.
It would be far more useful to be able to glance at the spreadsheet and see which cells are selected, even when working in another program.
We have good news. We’re in the planning stages to show the cell selection even when the Excel window is not the active window.
Thanks for supporting this suggestion.
Steve K [Excel]
@John [MS XL] 61322055-excel-team-msft
John, you responded in Nov 2015; since then you guys released office 16 and office 19, and neither version have ANY of numerous suggestions implemented.
Note, your competitors are continuously improving their products. It may be too late for msft to react when customers will turn away from msft considering office alternatives sufficiently featured.
I like the idea to keep selection visible also when not having focus, but it has to be also clearly visible which one has the focus, in order to prevent mistakes with copy/cut/paste operations.
(I often have the problem with Windows File Explorer, where it's not always clear whether the selected folder or the selected file in the folder is in focus.)
Gareth Hayter commented
FormulaDesk Navigator (disclosure: my add-in) adds this feature and also allows you to customise the highlighting (arrows, row/column highlighting, border, colors, transparency, line-thickness etc. It might prove useful until Microsoft adds this feature natively. Please let me know if you'd like to see any other features.
Funny thing is if we are several folks to work on the same worksheet, the selection box is not hidden for the others when loosing focus, only for me! So I can see what others are doing, but not what I'm doing...
Joey Quint commented
Excel used to do this in the past, and this is a BASIC feature. Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to remove this? Why do we need to VOTE to get this back, considering it's something basic?
Next thing you'll remove the ability to double click a cell to edit its content for whatever reason, and then wait until people vote to reintroduce it?
It is still not working. Now it is APRIL 2019 !
Thanks for taking the time to tell us about changes you’d like to see – we’re listening.
No you ain't.
We’ll take a look at this one.
No you won't.
Folks should keep voting for the things they like the most.
No we shouldn't.
We’ll generally be prioritizing things according to the number of votes they get.
No you won't.
John Nicholl commented
Yeah this has been on here nearly 4 years. So pleased they are listening. Excel is such a bad app. You ever tried opening another work book while your current workbook has a cell in edit mode!
Bachowny Plamborgs commented
This kind of thing just proves that Microsoft has absolutely no idea what users need. This is something that people will struggle with after about 5 minutes of using Excel and yet it seems like they are surprised that anyone might need this.
Yay, four year old Admin comment, bet this one is at the top of their list, no matter how many votes it gets, absolute top of their list, yes sir.
When the age of the Admin comment (assuming there even is one) gets near to being written in digits, not text, in proper English, you know they care very much.
Also the column heading and row number spaces have a slightly darker grey to indicate the selected cells. Please bring back the yellow/golden colors from 2007 or, even better, allow to choose it from the Options menu.
Mike D commented
This "Feature" is terribly inefficient when using multiple monitors. I am constantly working between multiple spreadsheets and the inability to see what I've selected in one while working in another increases my mistakes and makes me much less efficient. Having to put a finger on my screen or taking a screenshot of an open application is a clunky and obtrusive workaround for something that should be simple. It's a shame that someone spent time to make this work, in direct contrast with the native behavior of every other application I've used, but it's a counter-intuitive UI choice that burdens the end-user.
I can't believe how not intuitive Excel is becoming and how every default behavior do not work.
This is just one example amongst many
Almost 3 years later........
Time to use Open Office
Been wanting this for years!
This is the one thing everyone wants. Just do it. What were you thinking when you decided not to display the selection?
Dont waste your time. Microsoft stopped caring long time ago.
Jordon Pilling commented
Please please please add this, or at least make it an option, would save me so much time having to re-focus window to see selection. You dont even need to keep it selected as that would break ActiveWIndow VBA etc, just change the cell colours, or border box them, or something. Ta :)
John Nicholl commented
Please bring this feature back to Excel. I often have to reference my spread sheet when working in another application, I select the rows I wish to read when I give the other application focus find where I need the data and then look at the other screen with Excel to find the highlight has gone is a major frustration. I have had to revert to writing the data I need in a note pad then go to the other application and add the data by referencing my note pad!