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John D
John D, Bachelor's Degree
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 9666
Experience:  Bachelor of Science - Engineering Consultant
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My cursor highlights multiple rows or columns. I cant work

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My cursor highlights multiple rows or columns. I can't work with a single cell. How do I get it to highlight only a single cell?

Are you using a laptop or desktop computer? Touchpad? Wireless mouse? Wired mouse?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Touchpad? Wireless mouse? Wired mouse?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Wired Mouse

And are you having issues clicking anywhere else on the computer? If you try to click and highlight one word on this page, are you able to do that without issue?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, it only happens with EXCEL and it has happened many times in the past but not always. There is no way to anticipate when it might occur, but when it occurs I can't get out of it. My cursor highliglhts multiple cells and/or multiple columns, multiple rows, etc. and I can't work with a single cell.
And this occurs with every type of document?

Have you tried a different mouse on that computer? Or have you tried that same document with the same mouse on a different computer?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I can't change mouses or computers since I'm in a working environment and only have one of each. However, some of my compatriots have had similar problems and they can't figure out how to resolve them either. They occur only sporadically, but when they do we can't get out of it. Sometimes in highlights 2 cells or columns - sometimes 3.
Without being able to swap hardware, there's no way to troubleshoot this. I've never heard of such an issue and it sounds like the mice that you all share are cheap. I would go out and buy a decent Microsoft or Logitech mouse and use that one instead and I'm sure you won't have further issues.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That doesn't help me. I've had the same problem on different documents but the same computer. However, my friends have had the problem with different computers and different mouses.
What you're sounding just sounds like people aren't clicking fast enough. There's no documented issue of multiple computers and mice and versions of Office spontaneously clicking incorrectly so I'll need to opt out. It just sounds like they need to be more careful with their clicking. Someone else may be able to help. Thanks.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It doesn't matter how fast or slow you click. You still get multiple cells highlighted. It's definitely not a function of speed of clicking.



I will try to help you with this issue


This can happen in Excel if you have by mistake enabled the Extended Selection mode. To disable that mode simply press the F8 key once.


Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for clicking Accept if you are satisfied with the work.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pressing F8 doesn't change anything. It still highlights multiple cells, rows, columns, etc. Your diagnosis seemed like it would work but it didn't

Ok I need to make sure that the Extended Selection is toggled off


Tap the F8 key until you can see "Extended Selection" at the bottom as shown below





When it appears at the bottom, tap F8 again ONCE so it goes away


Now check your selections, if you are still having an issue please close Excel, reboot your computer and open excel again and check if it is working ok


Hope this helps



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think you are on to the right thing when you diagnose that I've somehow slipped into extended selection mode, but when I tap F8 and it shows "Extened Selection" at bottom and tap again to remove it, I still have the problem. I will follow your advice and get out of Excel, reboot computer and reload file to see if it helps. If not, then I'm out of ideas. Do you have any other advice for how to exit Extended Selection mode?

Let's see what happens after rebooting. Hope it works, and if it does do not forget to click the Accept button so I can get credit for my work



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If it works I'm happy to give you credit (and pay for it). My concern is won't rebooting computer disconnect me from JustAnswer and you? If so, how do I reconnect and what happens re the cost for the advice?

Just bookmark this page so you can get back here easily


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
OK. I did bookmark. I hope I can get back to this threaded discussion OK. Is there a cse number or anything just in case?

No just use that bookmark, or check your email from JustAnswer and the link will be there



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The reboot didn't solve it. The issue returned.

Ok in that case it is probably not related to Excel. Does it happen in other applications?


If you are using a mouse with a scroll wheel, it could be that wheel button is stuck. Try releasing it by tapping or wiggling it. You can also try tapping your two Ctrl keys on the keyboard and your 2 Shift keys


Hope this helps


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, it doesn't happen with anything other than EXCEL and it only happens infrequently with EXCEL, but it also happens occasionally to co-workers on different computers with different mouses, etc. - not just on this computer, this mouse and this data base. We wonder if it has comething to do with this version of EXCEL at our location.

hmm... try hilting the Esc key or clicking Undo. Will that allow you to select single cells



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, neither helps. By the way, I don't know if it helps to know the version I'm working with but it is EXCEL 2007.

Ok cloe all excel filesand office apps, then launch Excel try using the arrow keys only (no mouse, no touch pad, etc). Do you still get multiple selections


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
As long as I only navigate with arrows (and never highlight with mouse) it stays with a single cell, but I can't highlight a Column with arrows so when I need to insert a new column the only way I can do it is to highlight with mouse click and that doubles up again.

Ok that confirms that it is indeed a mouse, touch pad,or stuck key issue.


Hope this helps.


You can click Accept if you found my answers helpful (that is the only way I get credit for my time). Thank you either way







I found a few suggestions that may help.

Try tapping the wheel of scroll mouse, if applicable.

Try changing the page view from Page Layout to any other View option:
View tab > Normal

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
OK. I guess I will have to pay the $38 even if we didn't solve my problem once I hit accept. I'm happy to give you credit because you really tried hard and had good suggestions. However, I am reluctant to agree that it is the mouse because my other co-workers have had similar problems with their computers and mouses with this same version of EXCEL (and again only EXCEL). It shakes our faith in using EXCEL because we never now when this will hit and once it hits it in effect makes the work we've done on that particular spreadsheet useless.
Did you try my additional suggestions? Otherwise, you can indicate whether you wish to pay John D or me. Thanks!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I need to credit John D. He was by far the most helpful. How do I do that? I was shifted to you.

Yes it could happen with other users as well. Still that does not necessarily mean that the issue is with Excel.


Thanks for intending to accept




John D, Bachelor's Degree
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 9666
Experience: Bachelor of Science - Engineering Consultant
John D and 4 other Microsoft Office Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Have a nice remainder of the day.

Thanks so much.


You too :)







Hi again, I came accross this microsoft support article regarding the same issue, which I thought you may find helpful (we have already tried some of the suggested solutions)





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