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.
Great suggestion E Bow. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about changes you’d like to see – we’re listening. We’ll take a look at this one. As always, folks should keep voting for the things they like the most – we’ll generally be prioritizing things according to the number of votes they get.
John [MS XL]
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!
Ed Hansberry commented
@oz - how would being in another app, like Chrome or Outlook, be affected if Excel, on another screen or window, still visually show the selected cells? I often highlight relevant cells and would like to compose an email based on that info, but cannot because the highlight vanishes until I return to Excel. it forces me to color those cells, then uncolor them when done.
But I am genuinely curious as to how the highlight continuing on even when the app is not in focus is a disruption to your work flow.
This seems to be an MS only thing. Other apps retain selection visually when you switch away.
Oz du Soleil commented
I absolutely HATE this idea. When I move away from something I want to be done with it. I can see someone else's need for it, and I'd like for them to be able to work better, but this sounds like something that would be an annoyance for me and how I work.
Paige A. commented
I definately second this. Not seeing a selection is a HUGE problem for me as I am working.
This is a great idea. I'd also like to see the COUNT/SUM/AVERAGE etc. display in the status bar when focus is moved away.
Joseph Becker commented
It would be helpful if a cell that you have clicked on in Excel stays highlighted (selected) when switching to another application (Word, Acrobat, etc.) for easy reference, especially when using dual monitors
So it's been a year since this was first asked, any updates John? thank you
You should format the highlighted region different depending on whether its active or not. It might be confusing for copy and paste - it wouldn't copy if the window isn't active but you would think it is.
Victor Pearson commented
Excel used to do this way back in version 3...
See the idea titled "Visually show which cells are selected even when another application has focus"
Same idea, but it happens to have more votes. Please combine votes to get this higher!
As a user that has a triple monitor display, this would be the most helpful feature. As it stands, I have to use the highlight function to turn all my spreadsheets into colorful messes in order to keep track of what I'm looking at in excel. Please help me gain the full potential of my triple screen display.
As a comparison, if I highlight some text in my browser, then switch away, the selection is still visible but it changes colour to grey. Perhaps Excel could do the same thing, continue to show the selection but greyed slightly so you know that Window isn't active.
Andreas Killer commented
Today it is not unusual to have 2 (or more) monitors. And often Excel is used as "helper application" in e.g. ERP systems to ex-/import data.
When I export data to Excel, I can e.g. select some cells with important data. But when I switch to another application, I can not see within Excel which cells are selected! The selection marker is removed.
So I have to colorize the cells manually, this really is very annoying.