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Has anybody else noticed weird "ghost column"  artifacts in Excel

Posted on 2013-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-30
I have used Excel heavily for over 10 years.  About a half year ago I started seeing weirdness when I drag my column scroll bar back and forth quickly.  The Row Numbers from the left side of the screen get dropped in various places as the screen.  They are "artifacts" which means they are not really there.  They go away when I page down, then back up.  

I can't duplicated it on other computers, only on my lenovo t500.  I suspect a hardware problem because the artifacts did not go away when I upgraded from office 2003 to office 2010.

I can repeat it easily by rapidly swinging the scroll hand, but in normal use it only happens once or twice a week. Its weird, but doesn't really bother me, so I am not going to try SFC /scannow or any other time consuming cleanups.      

Nonetheless, I wonder if anybody else has ever seen this particular artifact, and if so, did you ever figure out what was going on?

rberke
temp1.jpg
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Question by:rberke
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39640326
I had this issue with Office 2010 on a ThinkPad T61p.  What I saw fit your description entirely.

I could not solve it despite Video and Monitor file upgrades that came available. I used the machine for 5 years, so I did not think hardware (except replace the machine). I did not have problems (that I recall) with this machine with Vista and Office 2007. I did have problems with this machine with Windows 7 and Office 2010.

My solution was a decent workaround. For the most part, I only worked on one file at a time. If I did this, I had few problems. If I needed a second book open, I did that, did what I needed and closed the second workbook.

I now have a ThinkPad X230 with Windows 8.1 and Office 2013. No issues.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39640330
By the way, same files on Office 2010 on my Desktop M90p with Windows 7 is not problem and I still have that setup.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:rberke
ID: 39641860
Thinkpads_User:

Thanks for posting.  I am glad to see that I am not alone.

I will be interested to see if anybody has the problem with Dell, HP or other non-lenovo product.

I have run windows 7 for 3 years, but I only started to see the problem this year.  I definitely had it on the same machine with office 2003. I was disappointed when the upgrade to office 2010 didn't fix it. It  might be related to something specific to Windows 7 and Lenovo.  

My problem is easily repeatable with only a single file open. It only happens if the file has lots of formatting.  

I'll leave this open for a while in hopes that someone else will post about non-Lenovo occurrences.

rberke
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by:rberke
ID: 39641871
Thinkpads_User:  

You said << I used the machine for 5 years, so I did not think hardware (except replace the machine)>>

I have one question: When did the problem first appear? If the problem existed 5 years ago  that rules out any recent Microsoft hotfixs.

Bob
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by:John Hurst
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I never used Office 2003 and I found the artifacts largely absent in Office 2010 with one file open.

Let's see what others might say.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
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I noticed the problem for most of the 3 years I used Office 2010 on Windows 7.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:rberke
ID: 39645128
<<I noticed the problem for most of the 3 years I used Office 2010 on Windows 7. >>

Thanks, I think that rules out any recent updates.  My problem probably existed ever since I got the windows 7 Lenovo three years ago, but it only showed up when I started using a vba application that applied lots of colors to my spreadsheets.

By the way, this "heavy formatting" wasn't anything spectacular, just a a handful of columns with background colors and a few individual cells with background color.  The cell contents are practically irrelevant. For instance, the screenshot I posted came from a Temp1.xlsx spreadsheet that I populated with random constants and NO FORMULAS.

When temp1.xlsx had no formatting, the artifacts did not occur.  When I applied the formatting (by copying formats from another sheet)  the artifacts start to appear.

I will leave this open for a week in hopes that non-lenovo users might post their own examples.
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by:John Hurst
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This was an issue that I had to work around. No driver changes or monitor file updates fixed the issue. Yet it has to be a video issue and (I think) the way Office 2010 uses video.

I have a different Lenovo Windows 7 laptop on which I installed one of my Office 2013 licenses. I did not see a problem, although it is a spare machine that I have not pushed hard.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:rberke
ID: 39646043
On my machine, pushing hard is not required.  I have attached an xlsx spreadsheet that has practically no formatting.  

I maximize Excel, open my file, then alternate keying <alt page down> <alt page up>. Usually, the very first time I get an artifact, but sometimes I have to alternate those keys two or three times.

But, if I don't maximize excel, the window is a different width, and the alt page up/down no longer cause the artifacts.  But dragging the scroll handle left and right still gives me artifacts.

I have attached the file, just in case anybody wants to play, but I'm betting no one will have any problem with it.

Changing other things in the file cause the problem to go away. For instance removing the Shrink To Fit formatting in a few cells.  Or deleting a few more rows.

Anyway, I have wasted enough time on this.

I won't post anymore until a non-lenovo user tells me they have the same problem.  That would eliminate the manufacturer as a source of the problem.

Bob
artifacts2b.xlsx
artifact2b.jpg
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by:rberke
ID: 39746391
Thanks for confirming that Lenovo's

I will be buying a new thinkpad sometime in the next year.  If the artifacts go away, I will post back.
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by:John Hurst
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Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

... Thinkpads_User
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