Microsoft is improving the Excel experience with this one tiny tweak

Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing smooth scrolling in Excel.
  • The feature lets you stop scrolling in the middle of a row or column.
  • Smooth scrolling is available in the Beta Channel or Current Channel Preview with Version 2109 (Build 14430.20000) or later.

Microsoft is testing a feature that may get rid of one of the most irritating parts of scrolling through spreadsheets in Excel. Currently, Excel snaps to the top of a cell when you scroll. This can make it difficult to view content within a larger cell, such as one with multiple lines of content. Smooth scrolling fixes this by allowing Excel to stop in the middle of a specific row or column when scrolling.

Microsoft's Tech Community post on the feature emphasizes that implementing smooth scrolling is quite complex. "Though you might think this is an easy fix, simply requiring the alteration of a few lines of code, there's actually a lot more to it," says Microsoft's Steve Kraynak. "In fact, we learned that this change affects many different aspects of Excel, including freezing panes, resizing rows, cutting and pasting, filtering, cell styles, comments, dragging and filling, and more."

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

For everyday users of Excel, the important thing is that Microsoft is working on smooth scrolling. It's available to Insiders on Windows in the Beta Channel or Current Channel Preview with Version 2109 (Build 14430.20000) or later. If you're interested in the technical aspects of how Microsoft developed smooth scrolling, the Tech Community post goes into more detail.

One aspect the post breaks down is that Excel calculates where certain content should be based on the distance from the top left cell. Microsoft had to do a lot of work to make sure that items like charts would appear in the correct place when stopping midway through a cell.

If you aren't an Insider yet, you can follow our guide on how to enroll in the Office Insider program.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at