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There are 5 hidden cells in this workbook – Find them all [Excel Easter Eggs]

Excel Challenges - 32 comments

It is Easter time, and that means time for another fun Easter Egg hunt in the spreadsheet. For the last 8 years (since 2009), I have been running Easter Egg hunt at Chandoo.org. This year too, I have prepared an exciting egg extraction enigma for you. Check it out.


Can you find all the 5 hidden cells in this workbook?

First step. Download this workbook. There are five worksheets, each containing one egg. You need to find the hidden cell in each worksheet.

One rule:

  • You should see the word cell spelled out clearly anywhere on the spreadsheet grid.

Post your hunt results in the comments. Post the cell address where you found the results along with process used to find in comments. Hunt them all before they rot.

Good luck.

Want more eggs? Check out previous Easter egg hunts

Go thru previous year hunts. Be warned though, they are highly addictive.

20162015, 20142013, 2012, 2011, 20102009


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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32 Responses to “There are 5 hidden cells in this workbook – Find them all [Excel Easter Eggs]”

  1. XLarium says:

    Used CTRL-F and searched for cell.

    Used CTRL-F and searched for cell.
    Cell is covered with an object.

    Contains character 160 (nbsp).
    Used formula IF(LENGTH(B3),"X","") in B12:T18. Better viewed with column width set to 1.5.

    "See C6" refers to an object called csix. This object contains a text: guess what, keep looking @ CS IX.
    Cell CS9 has an input text for data validation.

    No solution for Sheet4.
    Since the function BASH() does not exist it's probably another function.

    • TaanyaP says:

      Sheet1!APR2017 - Highlighted whole sheet, used CTRL+End

      Sheet2!CE11 - Highlighted whole sheet, set conditional formatting to use formula, select cell No Blanks, fill yellow. Found it with a box hiding it.

      Sheet3!B3:T9 - cell spelled out. - Highlighted whole sheet. Used conditional formatting to set a rule for cells containing No Blank, formatted to fill red.

      Sheet4!A1 - BASH= Bourne Again SHell ...if a file does not exist BASH searches for the next. So, B1 would be the cell as CTRL+End does not go past B1. (You can write to excel from a BASH script...) the value references a color or perhaps a date?

      Sheet5!C6 - opened selection pane, has object csix containing text guess what, keep looking @ CS IX - went to CS9 and found comment Congrats CELL

    • Barry Thistlethwaite says:

      What fun! Here are my solutions to all five:
      Sheet 1: APR2017. Used Ctrl+F to find “cell”
      Sheet 2: Same "find" method as above. The cell is hidden by a white rectangle.
      Sheet 3: BT-T9 are non-empty cells found using Ctrl+Shift+\
      Sheet 4: Cell A1. Change to base 22.
      Sheet 5: Cell CS9. Found the clue in the number format of cell C6 to seek “another csix.” As in cell CS Roman numeral IX. Very clever!

  2. Utkarsh says:

    For 1st 3 sheets, I used Ctrl +G (to open Go To Window) then - Special.. - Constants. I got Cell....

    3rd Sheet cell is really awesome thing 🙂

  3. David N says:

    Found both Sheet1 (cell APR2017) and Sheet2 (CE11) using Ctrl+End.

    For Sheet3, used Go To - Special - Constants. The resulting selected cells spell out CELL.

    Found Sheet5 (CS9) the same way as XLarium with just an added note that Roman numeral IX = 9 is how the text box clue refers to that cell.

    I too am stuck on Sheet4 but am not giving up. I've tried using BASE instead of BASH, which does return an 18-digit binary string, but I haven't figured out how or even if that could somehow lead to CELL.

  4. GMF says:

    David N had the key for sheet 4. It is the BASE function but you need to change 2.2 to 22

    • David N says:

      You know, that thought crossed my mind at one point when I was trying something else, but I guess I forgot to go back and actually test it out -- haha!

    • XLarium says:

      That's mean. 🙂
      Two things needed a fix: function name AND function argument.

    • TaanyaP says:

      I changed it to 22 but it didn't work for me? What am I missing?

      • TaanyaP says:

        I closed the workbook and opened it back up and then used the BASE function and changed the 2.2 to 22 and it finally worked! Shows the word CELL ...thanks GMF!

    • Jesse says:

      I loved figuring this one out! I stacked the alphabet offset to see if the characters spelled out an additional available function. Next, I started looking at lists of functions to see if there was one close. Nice work!!!

  5. Max says:

    So, I had a different approach to Sheet 3.

    I auto sized the columns and saw right away that there was something off with columns B-E, G-J, L-O, and Q-T.

    Not sure how to proceed, I placed my cursor in cell B1, and used the CTRL+Down Arrow---taking me to cell B3. One more time, to cell B9. One more time...to the very bottom. Following this method, and using Ctrl+right arrow, I ascertained that B3:E9 had something funky going on. Also, the Quick Analysis shortcut pops up. Under the Formatting section within the shortcut, I hovered over "Text..." and right away, the cells formed the letter C.

    Repeated the steps for the other three cell ranges.

  6. Brian says:

    Using Go->special-constants worked for the first 3 sheets.

  7. Vivek V Phadke says:

    Got 1,2,3 easily by F5 Special
    Struggled but got 5

    for Sheet 4 still Clueless

  8. vinayak mohata says:

    Sheet1 - APR2017
    Sheet2 - CE11
    Sheet3 -
    Sheet4 - A1
    Sheet5 -A1

  9. MF says:

    Interesting Egg hunting!! I managed to hunt all the eggs with similar approach discussed above. One addition approach I used was the "Selection Pane" that helps me to identify any "hidden" objects on a spreadsheet quickly.

    For Sheet 4, I have to admit that I use a tricky way without fixing the BASE function as I have zero knowledge on the BASE function...... but since there is no rule for that, I would say I can hunt that egg "successfully" too.

    What's my trick?

    Isn't it simple and straight?

    Happy Easter! 🙂

    • GraH says:

      @MF, Devious for sheet4. I got stuck there. Found base, but... Never would have guessed the second correction.
      For the other sheets, I went special places, like many.

      Chandoo is an egg-head, right?

  10. TheQ47 says:

    I got the following answers:
    Sheet1 - Cell APR2017 - Ctrl> END brought me there

    Sheet2 - Cell CE11 - CTRL> END brought me there

    Sheet3 - Cells B3:T9 - GoTo> Special> Constants highlights the word

    Sheet4 - I can't figure out how to fix the formula (See below)

    Sheet5 - Cell CS9 - Custom No formatting in cell C6 says "CSIX", roman numerals IX=9. Data Validation gives a comment

    Sheet4 - After much searching and trying to figure out what to change by myself, I looked at the comments here. I use Excel 2010, so changing to the BASE function doesn't work for me 🙁

  11. LAM says:

    the 5th sheet is pointless
    the 5th 'cell' is in the name manager ^.^

  12. Jordan says:

    Made a copy and renamed to a ".zip" file. From there you can open the xml files. There is a workbook name (the 6th easter egg???) and sheet 5's difficult to locate comment is easily found. : )

    ...\Downloads\easter-eggs-2017 - Copy.zip\xl\workbook.xml
    ...\Downloads\easter-eggs-2017 - Copy.zip\xl\worksheets\sheet5.xml

  13. SVJ says:

    Focus! The Base function only works in Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 (version 2011 Mac)
    So, If you tried with another version it doesnt exist.
    All the answers are correct! Sheet5 "Not me, but another csix" is awesome!

  14. Deon says:

    sheet 1: cell Apr2017
    sheet 2: cell CE11
    sheet 3: in adddition to the above - highlighting the area and finding constants which spells CELL, if the font in T9 is changed to webdings it changes teh value of teh cell to a picture of a sleuth (char(160)
    Sheet 4: =IFERROR(BASE(135035,22,4),"Fix me please") gives the value CELL
    Sheet 5: Cell cs9

  15. Barry Thistlethwaite says:

    I agree with GraH, Chandoo is an Egg-Head. In a good way! Thank you for the challenge, Chandoo!

  16. Sheet Name Cell Address Results
    SHeet1 APR2017 CELL
    SHeet2 CE11 Obj
    SHeet3 B3:B8,C3:E3,B9:E9 /
    /L3:L8,L9:O9 / Q3:Q8,Q9:T9 CELL (Highlighting BIG CELL)
    SHeet4 A1 = FERROR(BASH(135035,2.2,4),"Fix me please")
    SHeet5 D8:F11 Obj

  17. f(x)dx says:

    Hi everybody,

    Before all - many thanks to Chandoo for giving us this fun.

    As for my answer, I also found the CELL in all sheets using F5 (except Sheet4).

    What I did to find it in Sheet5: F5 / Special / Data validation
    And this lead me directly to cell CS9.

    Thus I understood about all gymnastics in this sheet with cell formating and hiding the text box when I read above answers.

  18. Floflo says:

    Thanks Chandoo for this!

    Sheet 4, A1: fixed the formula BASE and 2.2 to 22 (after trying to convert binary to letters lol)
    Sheet 5, CS9: celll c6, format says check another csix, CS + roman numeral 9!
    Sheet 1, APR2017: checked for named formulas and found cell, page down page down, used CTRL + arrow right on row 2017 (too lazy to scroll to APR)
    Sheet 2, CE11: checked for objects in the selection pane, found the rectangle, fill in + resize + zoom to find the CELL
    Sheet 3, B3:T9: best one! I was quite clueless, so I selected the whole page and filtered "Advanced", I saw it was highlighting up to row 9 so CTRL + left there and noticed all the empty spaces... CTRL + H, replace space with #, and voilà!

    I'm gonna try and do past years now 😀

  19. Stef@n says:

    use ctrl end 😉
    Sheet1 APF2017
    Sheet2 CE11
    Sheet3 T9
    Sheet4 ??? i don't know 🙁
    Sheet5 Object "csix" in Cell D7:E9 search / goto / Object
    CS9 comment "Congrats CELL"

    and a "name" called "cell = "$MMM$YYYY" "

  20. Lou says:

    Sheet 1: APR 2017 (ctrl find)
    Sheet 2: CE 11 (ctrl find and move box)
    Sheet 3: Various (autosize cells and spotted different font / size pattern)
    Sheet 4: ???
    Sheet 5: CS 9 (CS roman numeral ix)
    Thanks for the fun... had to give up on 4...

  21. Stef@n says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    What is the 'correct' answer?
    Regards Stef@n 😉

  22. Deepak Rathod says:

    Simplest way to find every hidden cells sheet by sheet:

    Sheet1 - Ctrl+F - find "*" without quotes, click "find all".

    Sheet2 - Ctrl+F - find "*" without quotes, click "find all".

    Sheet3 - Ctrl+F - find "*" without quotes, click "find all". Select all by CTRL+A from the list fill any colour.

    Sheet4 - Ctrl+F - find "*" without quotes, click "find all".

    Sheet5 - Ctrl+F - find "*" without quotes, click "find all".

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