Scrolling in Excel means moving up, down, left, or right in your spreadsheet. You can do this by using the mouse, arrow keys, or scroll bars.
If your worksheet data is too large to fit on the screen, scrolling helps you move along the whole worksheet to see the hidden parts. It helps you to analyze, edit, and manage data efficiently.
In this article, you will learn about scrolling in Excel.
The following image shows briefly how you can scroll in your worksheet.
After reading this blog post, you will learn about all the scrolling options, the Scroll Lock feature, and Smooth Scrolling feature of Excel.
You will also learn how to
– Scroll one row at a time
– Scroll 2 workbook simultaneously
– Freeze selected rows and columns while scrolling
– Limit scroll area
– Create a custom scroll bar
Lastly, we have discussed 2 common issues you may face while scrolling in Excel.
⏷ Scrolling Options
⏷ What Is Smooth Scrolling
⏷ Scroll Lock Feature
⏷ Scrolling One Row at a Time
⏷ Scrolling 2 Workbooks Simultaneously
⏷ How to Repeat Rows When Scrolling
⏷ Limiting Scroll Area
⏷ Creating a Custom Scrollbar
⏷ Scrolling Issues
To do scrolling in Excel, you have the following 3 options at your hand.
- Arrow keys (Up, Down, Left & Right) on your keyboard
- Vertical and horizontal scrollbars
- Mouse wheel (for vertical scrolling only)
1. Scrolling Using the Arrow Keys
- To scroll up, select a cell => Press the Up Arrow (↑)
- To scroll down, select a cell => press the Down Arrow (↓)
- Similarly use the Right or Left arrow keys to scroll in those directions.
2. Scrolling Using the Vertical and Horizontal Scrollbars
Click and hold the left mouse button on the vertical or horizontal scroll bar, then move it in the desired direction to scroll through the dataset.
Take a look at the following video for a better understanding.
3. Using the Mouse Wheel
Turn the mouse wheel inward to scroll down and outward to scroll up.
Smooth scrolling means scrolling the spreadsheet smoothly and gradually rather than jumping from one cell to another.
In the older versions of Excel, before 2021, when you used the horizontal or vertical scrollbar, it jumped from one cell to the next. That got annoying, especially with super-wide rows and columns. You’d scroll, and suddenly, a whole column or row would disappear, making it a hassle to follow your data smoothly.
But now, with the newer versions (an update in 2021 and Excel 365) and their smooth scrolling feature, it’s much easier. It’s like a smooth ride through your spreadsheet.
Mimicking Smooth Scrolling in Older Versions:
Even if you don’t have Excel 2021 or Excel for Microsoft 365, you can still mimic smooth scrolling by using the scroll wheel of your mouse.
Just press the mouse wheel once and hover your mouse in the direction you want to scroll the worksheet. You can follow the GIF image given below.
Using the Scroll Lock feature on the status bar, you can control whether the arrow keys move the active cell while scrolling the entire worksheet.
When Scroll Lock is turned on, you can scroll the sheet using arrow keys without changing the active cell.
How to Turn On/Off Scroll Lock Feature?
To turn on the scroll lock feature, right-click on the status bar => find the option Scroll Lock => and click on the Scroll Lock option if found unmarked.
To turn the Scroll Lock off, simply unmark the command again from the status bar.
Scrolling Without Moving the Active Cell:
After you have turned on the Scroll Lock feature, if you scroll with arrow keys, you will not move from cell to cell.
If not found on your keyboard, you can use the On-Screen keyboard of your Windows operating system.
To scroll one row at a time, you can click the vertical scroll bar’s up and down arrows. Clicking once will scroll one row.
Look at the following GIF image to see how to scroll one row at a time using a vertical scroll bar.
Another way is changing the mouse settings.
To change mouse settings so that when you turn the scroll wheel, one row will be scrolled with one unit turn-
- Go to Mouse settings from the Control Panel => Select the Change mouse settings option.
- The Mouse Properties window appears => Select Wheel tab => Insert 1 in The following number of lines at a time section.
Now, when you rotate the scroll wheel you will see the effect, of scrolling one row at a time.
You can scroll 2 open workbooks at a time using the Synchronous Scrolling command of Excel.
- Go to View tab => Window group => Select the View Side by Side
As a result, the Synchronous Scrolling command will be enabled automatically for both workbooks.
- Now, select any cell from any workbook and scroll the mouse wheel.
In this section, you will learn how to make certain Excel rows and columns stay visible while scrolling. Use the Freeze Panes feature to lock the top rows, so they remain in view even when you scroll through your data table.
Let’s say you want to make rows 1 to 5 stay visible while scrolling.
Follow these steps:
- Select row 6 => Go to the View tab => Window section => Click on the Freeze Panes drop-down => Freeze Panes.
- As a result, a gray-colored line will appear above row 6.
- The rows above the line (rows 1-5) will repeat while scrolling.
- Now, scroll down using the mouse wheel. We will get results like the following screenshot.
Note 1: To repeat only the first row or first column, go to View tab => Window => Click on the Freeze Panes drop-down => Freeze Top Row, or Freeze First Column.
Note 2: To freeze both a row and a column at the same time, choose the cell directly below the row and to the right of the column. Then, click on the “Freeze Panes” command.
Limiting the Scroll Area in Excel means restricting scrolling to a set range. It helps you to focus on a certain part for better visibility.
There are 2 ways we can limit the scroll area in Excel.
- Changing Worksheet Properties from the Developer Tab
- Applying a VBA Code
1. Changing Worksheet Properties from the Developer Tab
- Go to Developer tab => Controls => Properties.
- After that, the Properties window pops up => Set scroll area in the ScrollArea. The range in my case is $A$1:$F$28.
- Finally, click the Close (X) button to close the Properties.
- Your Excel sheet can no longer scroll beyond this range.
2. Applying a VBA Code
Here, this code will restrict the scroll area as set in the code. This restriction will be applied to every active sheet. Active sheet means on which sheet you are working now.
- Go to the Developer tab => Visual Basic.
- After that, select Insert tab => Module.
- Then a VBA Module will be launched. In that module, enter the following code and run the macro.
Dim mtm As Worksheet
Set mtm = ActiveSheet
mtm.ScrollArea = "$A$1: $E$25"
Suppose you have a worksheet with multiple datasets. If you scroll through the sheet to focus on a particular dataset, all other datasets will also be scrolled. However, suppose you don’t want this to happen.
In this case, you can create a custom scrollbar for that particular dataset only and scroll in that specific area, not in the whole worksheet.
To create a custom scrollbar for a dataset, add a scrollbar in a separate area using the Scroll Bar (Form Control) command from the Developer tab. Set the scroll area size, and link data from the original dataset to the new location using a formula. Follow these steps. Let’s say we will make a custom scroll bar for the following dataset with 31 rows, including column headings.
Follow these steps:
- We generate a blank dataset with the same formatting and column headings.
- From the “Scroll Bar” sheet, go to the Form Control menu and choose Developer => Insert => Scroll Bar.
- Next, design the Scroll Bar and drag it to give it a vertical scrollbar shape.
- Next, right-click on the Scroll Bar and select Format Control from the Context Menu.
- After that, in the Format Control dialog box, insert the parameter properly. In our case,
- Current Value: 0
- Minimum Value: 0
- Maximum Value: 20 (It is 20 in this case since we display 10 rows at a time. When the user enters the value 20 for the scroll bar, rows 20-29 are displayed)
- Cell Link: $L$1
- Other parameters are kept default values
The Scroll Bar is linked to the L1 cell. The value of this cell changes from 0 to 20 when you scroll down the custom bar.
- Now, link the data by using the formula below in cell G6 (in the “Scroll Bar” sheet).
- Copy this formula to the rest of the cells in the blank dataset.
Now scroll and see the magic.
1. Horizontal or Vertical Scroll Bar Not Visible
The default Scroll Bars of an Excel workbook may not always be visible. Sometimes it can be accidentally disabled in the worksheet.
Please follow the steps below to resolve the problem.
- Select File tab => Options.
- Excel Options dialog box will pop up => Select the Advanced option => Scroll down and check both Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar options under Display options for this workbook menu => OK.
- After that, the Scroll Bars will display.
2. Mouse Wheel Zooming In or Out Instead of Scrolling
Normally, rolling the scroll wheel of a mouse scrolls through the Excel sheet. But if you use a Microsoft branded mouse or IntelliMouse, you need to ensure that the “Zoom on Roll with IntelliMouse” feature is disabled. Otherwise, it will zoom in or out of your Excel sheet instead of scrolling while you use the scroll wheel.
- To disable the feature, just open the Excel Options window from the File menu and select the Advanced
- Next, scroll down and uncheck the “Zoom on Roll with IntelliMouse” feature => Press OK.
This will disable the feature, and you will be able to scroll with the IntelliMouse.
Download Practice Workbook
In the discussion above, you have learned all the scrolling options available in Excel. We have also covered the Smooth Scrolling which is comparatively a new feature in Excel 2021 or 365. You have also learned some scrolling tricks like synchronous scrolling, scrolling only one row at a time, or keeping some selected rows or columns frozen when scrolling. You also know now how to control the scroll area and how to create a custom scroll bar for a specific area in the worksheet. Lastly, we have discussed the common issues with scrolling in Excel.
- How to Move Up and Down in Excel
- [Fixed!] Excel Scrolling Too Many Rows
- [Fixed!] Up and Down Arrows Not Working in Excel
- Horizontal Scroll Not Working in Excel
- Excel Not Scrolling with Arrow Keys
- [Fixed!] Arrow Keys Not Moving Between Cells in Excel
- [Solved!] Vertical Scroll Not Working in Excel
- How to Stop Excel from Scrolling to Infinity
- How to Stop Excel from Jumping Cells When Scrolling
- How to Stop Arrow Keys from Scrolling in Excel
- How to Turn On/Off Scroll Lock in Excel