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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Have Excel scroll better when there are large cells.

If there's a really tall or wide cell, Excel jumps to the edge of the cell when scrolling past that area. This is a big pain when, for example:
- trying to position a shape
- Trying to grab the edge of the row or column in order to resize it.

Excel should just scroll normally without jumping.

1,665 votes
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    Oz du Soleil shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks everyone for all of the passion about this suggestion! The number of votes has increased greatly in the last couple months and we’re taking notice! We’ve got a bunch of other Excel endpoints behaving this way already and we’re evaluating getting it done in the Windows versions sooner based on the number of votes it gets – so keep the votes coming!

    Eric Patterson (Program Manager – MSFT)

    384 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Fair point, it isn't used just as a number cruncher. I notice that many people use Excel as a sort of "Project Management" or "Progress Chasing" tool and work with large text based tables - often brightly coloured. I see them sitting at break out tables in meetings all with colour printouts of these things. Perhaps they should be using Project Management Software? MS is probably wary of making something too capable in that area to be part of O365 as Project Management Software is still pretty pricey - which is why people use Excel for it.....

      • Rich commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Rather than an applet running on top of Word or Excel, I'd be happy with a separate app that can read in Excel and Word files and apply the formatting we want with limited number crunching and Word features. Basically a go between app for that those things we use Word and Excel for but struggle with on a daily basis.

        For the spread sheets I work on, most of the number crunching really doesn't amount to anything more than what you can do with a basic calculator. I haven't even looked at graphs in years in Excel.

        For me, there's a large need to gather, organize, and present information in big endless tables for tracking things on a daily basis but not a lot number crunching or graphs are needed so a lot of Excel's functionality will never be used by me. Word's limited table formatting options are woefully inadequate and a lot harder to use than simply getting presented with an almost endless grid of cells I can manipulate any way I want like in Excel.

        Access also isn't an option since I don't need a database to generate reports on either. Just a free grid of cells I can stuff things into to organize what I have in front of me.

        That said, our Accounting department which uses Excel more than anyone else for number crunching and lots of custom Macros, does also suffer from the cell snapping behavior in Excel so this really does have to be fixed in Excel regardless if Microsoft makes an applet or separate app altogether.

      • Sally O'Rourke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It appears that Microsoft responded to this string in February. They are evaluating the best way to get it done. It also says that votes should keep coming in, as that is how things are prioritized.
        Can anyone tell me the difference between Access and Excel? I am unfamiliar with it.

      • Martin Hall commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Excel is a number-cruncher. And it works beautifully doing what it was designed to do.

        But, people being people and companies being companies, by far the most common way I work with Excel is as a formatted word processor. Dropping information into columns and rows is just way to easy in Excel, and much faster than creating a table in Word.

        I have lost count of the number of mission-critical Excel spreadsheets that come to me that are nothing more than heavily-tweaked text boxes, with perhaps some cell references included to avoid repetitive data entry.

        Excel, wonderful as a number-cruncher, is sadly very delinquent as a word processor. Long text blocks in cells are very difficult to read, due to Excel's nature to jump to tops of cells, rather than gently scrolling through them.

        Perhaps what is needed is an Excel for Word (or Word for Excel?) applet that de-emphasizes computational options and enhances word processing functions.

        I am very happy that this discussion is happening.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Anonymous (understand the frustration): It IS when crunching numbers and text that the non-smooth scrolling is a pain. There are many use cases where individual cells are large items of text, not numbers, e.g. in an RFP with hundreds of questions (in tabs & rows) that need to be tracked, and answer checkpoints (in columns) that also need to be tracked, something not possible to do in a Word Doc (mainly as it enforces a boundary limit called a page size). To think of Excel as a purely numerical 'cruncher' is an error, there are numerous text based uses for it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understand the frustration with this, but, I also have sympathy with MS not prioritising it. I say this as I think Excel's core mission is to crunch the numbers, and although they certainly do pay attention to how it looks and visual ergonomics there are other programs out there where presentation is a higher priority and perhaps people could consider using those to present work having crunched the numbers in Excel.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ben, you may well be right, that MS find themselves in a difficult spot, that their architecture makes it such that it's not easy to fix/do. However, I think we would have a lot more confidence if they just told us straight out what the issue is, and when they think they can fix it. Honesty really is the best policy. Being kept in the dark is not an option. So, MS, If it's hard to do, just say so, but I'm sure you have the dev talent to find a solution.

      • Ben commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As a software developer myself, I would imagine that this is probably not "a simple feature tweak" otherwise they would have done it already. I also don't think they would be looking over this forum and laughing - more likely the opposite, they would be feeling very depressed that they are letting people down.

        I have seen this many times before where "simple controls" like scroll bars are actually a lot more complex that they seem. For example their behaviour may be locked-in to algorithms that optimise your computer by unloading non-visible cells (while still enabling non-visible calculations). Often due to bad architecture and a lack of foresight this lock-in means that it could be difficult to change from exact cell scrolling to partial cell or smooth scrolling. Microsoft are not likely not to admit to bad architecture in their code so they instead just stay quite because it's embarrassing for them.

        This is just conjecture but I am trying to offer an explanation to why this doesn't look like it is being picked up, or responded to by Microsoft. Generally bugs and feature improvements are prioritised based on how much the community need it but also on how much work is involved. Since this issue obviously has lots of support from the community then we can only assume that it involves a lot of work to fix.

      • ST commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, please Microsoft fix this soon. This Excel scrolling problem slows down my work considerably. It is wasting time, money, and causing irritation.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm sure this post is just a big running joke at the Microsoft Office. I bet they read through the comments at lunch and laugh with each other. "Hm, what can we focus our time on other than this 1,600 vote issue? LOL here's a graphical bug request with 2 votes, assemble the team for an emergency meeting."

      • I got a headache commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Not only is this the 3rd highest voted topic, it's the ONLY topic that's not a bug that requires huge amounts of Dev time. This is a simple feature tweak.

        MS Excel team - If you read this, and I am wrong, please tell us WHY you're not fixing it. Ex: It's more complicated than we think. It's not a priority. You're using this to force people to new versions or other spreadsheet products (google docs) etc. However you are looking at (or not) this issue, you should tell your users. Especially on a forum like this. Why would you provide a forum and not communicate? This adds to the many other reasons people dislike, or even hate, MicroSoft. Please, start somewhere to improve that image. Start here. Help us reduce our headache frequency and stress. Fix this issue, PLEASE.

      • Alex Lush commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Don't think O365 support will touch the client apps. I've tried before with other Excel issues but good luck to you and be sure to reply if you hear anything useful!!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I've gone ahead and created a ticket through my company's o365 tennant in hopes for a formal Microsoft response as this thread appears to have been lost or forgotten.

        To raise awareness it may not be a bad idea if others do so as well.

      • Tom Burke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        come on!! 3rd highest ranking idea, been here since 2015. What needs to be done to get noticed

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please at least give us an option to turn the snap scrolling on or off. The snapping behavior is such a timesink as you try to verify you haven't skipped over content.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sorry Jake, That may work for your purposes, but the cells still snap into place.

      • I got a headache commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Jake, that is not a real work-around. Though that function will allow you to smooth scroll, the scroll bars do the same thing. Once you release the scroll wheel, or scroll bars, it will snap to edge. A true "work-around" would disable the snapping. So far, there is no true work-around.

      • Jake Moore commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        one work around is to press the middle mouse button to activate 'middle click scrolling' or whatever its called! Once activated, you scroll up, down, left, right simply by moving the mouse. This approach does not 'snap to cell'

      • Mark Gibb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Oh, at this very moment I am having this problem and I am feeling something close to rage!

        I wish I could sent my xlsx and CSV files to Microsoft make sure they understand the problem.

        It is UTTERLY MIND BOGGLING why it ever could have been designed this way.

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