Excel Add-In: HelpfulHighlighter

Download v1.0

HelpfulHighlighter is an Excel 2007/2010 Add-In for visually/mentally impaired users that will highlight the current row and column in a color of the user’s choice to aid in maintaining focus.


  • Download the release package above, unzip it somewhere, and double-click the HelpfulHighlighter.vsto file. Follow the installation instructions. Once it is installed, you will see a Helpful Highlighter tab in the Add-Ins tab of the Excel ribbon.
  • To uninstall the application, use the Add and Remove Programs Control Panel menu (Start → Control Panel → Add/Remove Programs or Start → Control Panel → Programs and Features).


  • To enable/disable HelpfulHighlighter on the fly, use the Enable checkbox on the options ribbon tab.
  • If the Preserve colors checkbox is checked, HelpfulHighlighter will remember the background colors of the cells it highlights, and reset them when they are no longer highlighted. With this option, only the visible area will be highlighted—if it is disabled, even cells off-screen are highlighted, so that you can scroll past the selected area and still keep your place. If you tend to work with spreadsheets that do not have background colors, you can probably leave this unchecked.
  • To change the color of the highlighted cells, click on the Choose color item in the options ribbon tab and select a color from the palette provided (or choose your own by using the custom colors slots). The default is a dim, lime green, but that may not be suitable for all users.