Cell 64,999
July 4, 2005 6:15 PM   Subscribe

I used to think I was good at Excel. I could add, subtract, multiply and even use PivotTables! But I have a big problem with Excel: Why does it jump to cell 65,000 occasionally when you try to copy and paste?

I can't reproduce it on purpose. It happens about once per 2 hours of work. This has been a problem for me and spreadsheets for at least 10 years, but I have no idea how to stop it from happening. My theory is if you're at the start of the document, and you try to go "up" or "left", Excel compensates by wrapping you around to the other side. Can I turn this off?
posted by Happydaz to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
This happens to me fairly often under OSX. It's because I attempt to type:

cmd-C (to copy)
down-arrow (to move to the cell I want to copy into)
cmd-V (to paste)

but instead type:

cmd-C (to copy)
cmd-down-arrow (which jumps to the bottom row of the spreadsheet, i.e., row 65536)

If you're not running OSX, possibly there's a similar Windows typo that could be causing it.
posted by bac at 6:24 PM on July 4, 2005

Best answer: I don't have Excel in front of me to investigate your wrap-around theory, but the closest I've experienced under windows is the same effect bac is talking about. I actually take advantage of this behavior regularly- holding the Control key while using the arrow keys works sort of like the fast-forward button, as follows:

-If you're on an empty cell, you'll move the cursor to the next cell in the direction you pressed that contains a value, or else you'll move to the last cell in that direction.

-If you're on a cell with a formula or value in it, you'll cue up to the last cell in the direction you pressed before the next empty cell. If by chance you're already on the last filled cell, you move over one in the direction you pressed.

Maybe I'm not giving the best explanation, but the behavior will be pretty straightforward when you try it out. Ctrl-arrow is especially powerful when combined with the shift key. One trick I use often is, click the top left cell in a table (with no empty spaces). Hold control and rapidly punch right, then down. You'll select the whole table. You're ready to sort, autofilter, or pivot the table.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 6:51 PM on July 4, 2005

I'd guess because you've accidentally hit Ctrl-Shift-down...
posted by pompomtom at 7:03 PM on July 4, 2005

Best answer: You can edit your keyboard shortcuts in Tools > Customize > Keyboard. Assign the cmd-down-arrow to something like Edit and Next Row. When you click Add, it will say that the key combination is already in use so go ahead. It won't work in the spreadsheet (it won't go to the next row)!! but it won't go to the last cell either. Not ideal because it stays on the same cell but I can't find where the cmd-down-arrow is used in the Customize Keyboard.
posted by tellurian at 7:35 PM on July 4, 2005

Sounds like you're hitting the bottom of that database.
posted by yerfatma at 8:19 PM on July 4, 2005

Response by poster: Wow! Control-arrow is definitely what's causing the problem. Now that I know that, perhaps it's not even a problem. TY everyone, I can confidently regain my ninja status in Excel again.
posted by Happydaz at 8:54 PM on July 4, 2005

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