Odd Cell Selection Behavior (w/mouse)


New Member
Jan 22, 2005
I am experiencing an especially odd cell selection behavior when trying to write simple formulas that reference other sheets in a workbook. For example, using a simple 2 sheet workbook I am attempting to create a sum formula in the second sheet that totals 3 cells in the first sheet; i.e., =SUM(Sheet1!B3:B5). Couldn't be much simpler, right?

But, whenever I open Excel I can successfully create this formula once. After that, when writing a second similar formula referencing 3 different cells, odd cells will be selected (cells that I did not click on). Sometimes multiple cells in seemingly random areas are highlighted on the sheet that I did NOT highlight. Sometimes the formula result will be placed in a cell completely different than the cell I started entering it in. Bear the following in mind..... manually writing the formula works fine each and every time. The problem occurs when I type "=sum( " in the formula bar and then attempt to use my mouse to click to the first sheet and highlight the cells I want.

This same problem occurs in ANY workbook I open. And, it ONLY occurs when creating formulas that cross worksheets. I have uninstalled and reinstalled Excel and I have even tried uninstalling and reinstalling all of Office (using Office 2000 by the way).

I am a 15 year user and have never seen this behavior before!!

Excel Facts

Using Function Arguments with nested formulas
If writing INDEX in Func. Arguments, type MATCH(. Use the mouse to click inside MATCH in the formula bar. Dialog switches to MATCH.
Is it only the sum function?

1. What about

1. Average(Sheet1!B3:B5)

2. Sheet1!B3 + Sheet1!B4 + Sheet1!B3

3. or even just
= Sheet1!B3

4. What happens if you open a file you had created a long time ago. Does the same behavior occur in that file?
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Good questions

It happens with any formula including everyone of your examples.

I also just tested an old spreadsheet that has not been opened for 3 years and it behaved strangely also.
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Welcome to the board MX-RCR. I cant think of what the problem might be.
Things that spring to mind are that you have a key stuck down on your keyboard that you havent noticed. For example, if the CTRL key was depressed then this enables selection of non-contiguous ranges.

Not wanting to be an alarmist but unusual behaviour can be a result of a virus. I would run a virus check in case theres a bloodhound or similar Excel macro virus.

If your finding unusual behaviour in other apps as well it may be the mouse driver needs to to be updated.
Upvote 0
Thanks for your thoughts.

I do run a virus check every evening and my virus definitions are up to date. All appears to be clean.

As far as keyboard and mouse: The problem first appeared about a week ago while using an external keyboard & mouse on my laptop. Earlier today I removed the external keyboard and mouse, rebooted and tried using the built-in laptop devices and the problem was still there.

Excel is the only app that is behaving oddly.
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I have more questions, not that I think any of them will help.

What happens if you open one of these files on another machine.
(or do you not want to spread viruses if they are indeed a problem.)

What happens you create such a file on another machine and open it on this machine.

What happens if you have the file as an older version e.g. 97.

If you hit Alt + F11 and fo to the editor, is there in your files, or perhaps a file you can not see?
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OK, so its likely the external devices may have caused this issue. Did you install a mouse or other driver when using these devices. It could be that the mouse driver being used by O/S is for the external device, but you are using the internal device thus a conflict arises.
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Responding to "PA HS Teacher" & "Parry"

Thanks for the questions and ideas. You are challenging me here.

I just took a spreadsheet that I had trouble with and opened it on another machine. I had no problems with formula creation across sheets. I've also done the reverse, that is, created a file on another machine (and it had no issues on that machine) and brought it to mine and the problem appeared again.

I tried Alt + F11 and I do have several addins running but I recognize them all. I tried closing all addins and then restarting (confirmed they were gone by using Alt+F11 again), closed Excel and reopened it and the problem was still there.

As far as a mouse or other driver causing the problem I've not installed anything new for a long time (same external keyboard for 2 years). BUT....your suggestion of a conflict of internal vs. external devices is interesting. I have gotten an odd message a few times saying that my touchpad is not in use and has been turned off (or something similar). That message only appears when my external device is disconnected and it only occurs sporadically but, it may indicate some sort of driver conflict. I'll try updating drivers for both devices.
Upvote 0

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