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Spreadsheets: Honey I Shrunk the Scrollbar Slider

The slider on the vertical scrollbar that allows Excel users to navigate among several screens has been accidentally shrunk to a point that it is unusable. What now?
Bill Jelen, | US
October 5, 2011

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One reader writes: "I have a worksheet with two or three screens of data. I can easily grab the vertical scrollbar and move to the top or bottom of the data set. Something happened, and now the huge scrollbar slider has become really tiny. Further, if I move it just one pixel, instead of jumping to the next screen of data, Excel will move to row 4500.

Fig. 1

This can happen if someone pressed End Down Arrow key to move to row 1048576.

Fig. 2

You can often restore the size of the slider by moving it completely to the top of the spreadsheet. If this does not work, then there is one rogue cell way below your data that has become activated. Perhaps someone pressed the Spacebar or applied text formatting or something. Follow these steps:

• Note the last row that you believe to contain data.
• Press the End key and then press the Home key. Excel will jump to the intersection of the last active row and the last active column. This row is usually way beyond the row that you believe to be the last row.
• Delete all rows from the bottom of your data set to the rogue last row.
• Save the workbook. The scrollbar slider will return to full size.

Saving the workbook is the key. Even after you delete the extra rows, Excel will not restore the size of the workbook. In past editions of Excel, copying the worksheet was enough, but in Excel 2007, the scrollbar will not resize until you save the workbook.

CFO contributor and founder of Bill Jelen is the author of 33 books about Microsoft Excel. His latest book, Learn Excel 2007-2010 from MrExcel contains solutions to 512 mysteries like this one. Bill's next webcast on is Using Excel for Advanced Data Analysis, airing on Tuesday, October 11.