3 Ways to Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

Often there are times when a spreadsheet developer has the need to set the screen scroll lock area in Excel restricting where the user can scroll and has visibility. A perfect example would be Excel Dashboards.

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Setting the screen scroll lock area improves the user experience and can make a dashboard or other spreadsheet application have more of that App like feel.

In this article, we will look at 3 ways to set the screen scroll lock area in Excel.  The first using Worksheet protection, the second using advanced excel options, and the third, using VBA.

Our Example

Our Dashboard contains information from cells A1 to U40 and we want to lock the screen so the user is unable to scroll beyond this point.

1.      Worksheet Protection to limit the screen scroll area

When you have protected a worksheet and workbook, the user retains the ability to scroll to the far side or bottom of the worksheet.  Worksheet or workbook protection does not lock the scroll unless you first ensure the cells outside the scroll area are locked and cannot be selected.  However, when you are creating a dashboard or other spreadsheet application, to improve the user experience, it is often a good idea to lock the scroll. This way the user cannot ‘lose’ the dashboard because they have scrolled too far, and it will give the dashboard a more app-like feel.

Start by selecting the first column of blank cells after the dashboard. 

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

Then press Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow to select all the cells to the right of the sheet.  Right-click and select Hide.

This will hide all columns to the right of the dashboard and the user will no longer be able to scroll further to the right than the dashboard.

We can also lock the scroll down in the same way.  Select the first row below the dashboard and then press Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow to select all the rows to the bottom of the sheet.  Then right-click and select hide.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

The user will no longer be able to scroll past the area of the dashboard.

2.      Turning off Vertical and Horizontal scroll bars in Excel Options

 Using Excel advanced options, it is possible to remove the scroll bars from Excel workbooks.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

Open Excel options and go to Advanced. 

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

Scroll down to find Display options for this workbook

Untick Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar and press ok.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

When you return to the workbook the scroll bar will no longer be visible.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

3. Locking the scroll with VBA

You can also use VBA to lock the scroll on a worksheet or dashboard.  If the developer tab is not available, we need to turn this on.  Go to File, then Options.

In options, select customize ribbon and ensure the developer box is ticked.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

With the developer tab now available, select Visual Basics Editor.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

In the visual basic’s editor, select new from the tab, and then select a new Module.

Then copy and paste the code below into the New module box.  Ensure that you have updated the code to lock the screen scroll to the cells you want to be locked.

Sub SetSpecificScrollArea()
DIM ws As Worksheet
Set ws = ActiveSheet
Ws.ScrollArea = “$A$1:$U$40”
End Sub

Close the visual basics editor and return to the worksheet you wish to apply the scroll lock.

From the developer tab, select Macros.  This will open a box showing any macros available in the workbook.  Select the macro and press run.

Set Screen Scroll Lock Area in Excel

Once the macro has run, the user will no longer be able to scroll past the designated cells.

Using the developer tab, you can also confirm, remove, and set the scroll area from properties.


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