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Excel Enter Key with Merged Hidden Cells

Posted on 2011-03-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi Everyone,
A user asked me why the enter key does not advance to the next row in a certain situation.  It looks like it is because the cell she is in is part of several merged cells, the first and last of which are hidden.

For example,
Cells C1,D1,E1,F1 and G1 are merged.  Columns C and G are hidden.  I enter a value in what looks like D1+E1+F1 and press Enter but nothing happens.  I think it is because I am really entering the value in C1 but it is hidden.  

Am I on the right track?
Thanks!
Allyson
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Question by:Allyson
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Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 35044057
Allyson,

Check in Tools/Options/Edit that the 'Move selection after Enter' check box actually has a check (tick) in it, press OK, also check that 'down' has been selected as the direction you want the cursor to move after Enter has been pressed.

Even if the current selection is a group of merged cells, if you have done as above, the cursor will still move down when Enter is pressed.

Patrick
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Author Comment

by:Allyson
ID: 35044072
Hi Patrick,
The "Move Selection after Enter" box is checked and the direction is "down."

I can consistently recreate the problem by merging two cells, then hiding the column of the first cell.  Then when I enter data into the merged cells, the Enter key does not work.  

I'm not an expert, so I'm looking for validation from someone who is!  I have searched extensively on EE and other places but have not seen this behavior addressed.

The user is on Excel 2000 and I am on 2007 and it is acting the same.

Thanks!
Allsyon
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Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 35044121
>I can consistently recreate the problem by merging two cells, then hiding the column of the first cell.  Then when I enter data into the merged cells, the Enter key does not work.

It works on my machine perfectly OK but of course only the visible cell can be selected.
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Expert Comment

by:tandy
ID: 35044196
When cells are merged onlt the data in the first cell is stored.
even though you are entering in what looks like data in D1, E1 and F1,

the data is actually stored in the memory location adressing cell A1.

Why does cell a1 need to be hidden?

Set the Column width of column A to 0.1 and it will be "virtually " hideen

and return or enter will work,

Tandy
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Expert Comment

by:tandy
ID: 35044199
After unhiding  it of course
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Accepted Solution

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patrickab earned 50 total points
ID: 35044273
Actually,

In a group of merged cells the data is stored in the topleftmost cell.

Patrick
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Expert Comment

by:tandy
ID: 35044319
Unless you are used to reading Hebrew(or some other right to left language)
topleftmost ,the more precise description  = first cell, more common description :)


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Expert Comment

by:patrickab
ID: 35044353
It's just that your comment was ambiguous.

"even though you are entering in what looks like data in D1, E1 and F1,

the data is actually stored in the memory location adressing cell A1.

That didn't make sense to me when you hadn't defined which cells were merged.
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Expert Comment

by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044356
>>> I think it is because I am really entering the value in C1 but it is hidden.  ... Am I on the right track?

Allyson: What you are saying is absolutely correct. When you press 'Enter', the next available cell is C2 and since C2 is hidden, it cannot go to that.

Sid
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Author Closing Comment

by:Allyson
ID: 35046233
Thanks to all of you but I'll give the points to Patrick because he answered first and my question was unclear.

I have enough information to present this to my user tomorrow.

Allyson
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