Written by Debra Dalgleish from Contextures Blog
Lately, I’ve noticed that some things in Excel look strange, when I have them on my second monitor. For example, an Excel UserForm listbox doesn’t show its scroll bar. But, if I drag that UserForm to my other monitor, the scroll bar magically reappears. Finally, I tried a quick fix, and it seems to be working!
Change an Excel Option
Here’s the quick fix that’s working for me, and I hope it solves Excel display issues for you too.
- In Excel options, General category, User Interface Options, choose Optimize for compatibility (application restart required)
- Things should look okay after you restart Excel.
The problem details and solution steps are below.
UserForm Looks Strange
Here’s a screen shot of the UserForm listbox, opened on my second monitor. All 12 months are in the list, but only the first 5 month names are visible.
There are a couple of things that look strange in this UserForm:
- There should be a scroll bar at the right side of the listbox, but it isn’t showing.
- The listbox should be the full width of the UserForm, but it’s about an inch narrower
Move to Other Monitor
With the UserForm open, if I drag it to my primary monitor, everything looks fine.
- The scroll bar appears at the right
- The listbox is almost as wide as the UserForm
So that’s what I had been doing, when things looked strange in Excel, on the second monitor. But I’ve found a better solution now!
Monitor Display Settings
My second monitor is set at the recommended resolution – 1920 x 1080. That’s a bit small for me to read, so I’ve got the size of text, apps and other items set at 125% zoom.
I think it’s the display zooming that Excel has trouble with.
On my laptop (the primary monitor), I chose a display resolution of 1280×720, instead of the recommended setting of 1920 x 1080.
With that resolution, I don’t have the option of changing the the size of text, apps and other items – the box is greyed out. Excel seems okay, when the zoom is at the default setting of 100%.
Fix the Problem
I don’t want to go to 100% zoom on the secondary monitor, just so Excel will show UserForms correctly. But fortunately, there’s an Excel option setting that made the secondary display work correctly!
This tip comes from Excel MVP, Wyn Hopkins, at Access Analytic in Perth, Western Australia. He suggested this as a fix for Power Query Editor display problems. I wondered if it would fix the UserForm problem too, and it did!
To change the setting:
- At the top of Excel, click the File tab
- At the bottom of the list on the left, click Options
- In the list at the left, click the General category
- In the User Interface Options section, under When using multiple displays, choose Optimize for compatibility (application restart required)
- Click OK, to close the Options window
- Close Excel and restart it
Did It Work for You?
Did that option setting fix the Excel display problems for you?
Or did you find another solution to the problems?
Excel Looks Strange on Second Monitor
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