The Scroll Lock key in Excel can cause problems, but they're easy to rectify
Q Sometimes when I’m working in Excel the cursor appears suddenly to ‘freeze’. I can still navigate around the spreadsheet, because the arrow keys seem to move the whole thing – but the cursor stays resolutely put in one cell.
Closing and re-opening the spreadsheet does nothing and even exiting and restarting Excel doesn’t fix the problem.
The only solution I’ve found is to shut down Windows, turn off my PC and start from scratch. While this works it’s obviously deeply frustrating – and it’s usually only a matter of time before the cursor once again becomes stuck. Please help!
A It sounds to us like you’re occasionally, albeit inadvertently, pressing the Scroll Lock (or ScrLk) key on the keyboard, because the behaviour you describe is precisely how Excel would react to Scroll Lock being on.
Few applications pay attention to the computer’s Scroll Lock status (because the key is something of a relic) but Excel is an exception: when Scroll Lock is enabled, Excel scrolls the entire spreadsheet in response to cursor (arrow) key presses, rather than the cell selector.
So, next time it happens look for an indicator light on the Scroll Lock key, or for a ‘SCRL’ or ‘Scroll Lock’ legend in the status bar at the foot of Excel – then tap the Scroll Lock key to switch it off.
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