Freeze Panes in Excel – The Complete Guide

Published on May 31, 2017
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The Complete Guide to Freezing Rows and Columns in Excel

FREEZE PANES

This article explains how you can freeze panes i.e. lock row(s) and column(s) to fix them while scrolling up/down or right/left.

How many times do you come across a situation where you want to fix the headings/titles of a column or row so that you can view the same even while you have scrolled down or right?

The answer to this common problem is the Freeze Panes feature in MS Excel. In this article, I’ll explain how you can apply this basic but very useful feature. Let’s take an example for better understanding.

Suppose you are working on the following excel worksheet.

freezepanes1

This file has a total of 4627 rows and 26 columns. If you scroll down normally, its obvious that you won’t be able to see the column heads. Again, if you scroll right you’ll not be able to see the Item Code (given in Column B). In such situations, the Freeze Panes options comes in really handy. It allows you to view the a specified number of rows and/or columns while scrolling down/right.

The steps are given below:

  • Freeze Top Row: To freeze just the top row, View -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze Top Row.
  • Freeze First Column: To freeze just the first column, View -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze First Column.
  • Freeze Multiple Rows: To freeze multiple rows (starting with the first row), select the row below the last row you want to freeze -> View -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze Panes.
  • Freeze Multiple Columns: To freeze multiple columns (starting with the first column), select the column to the right of the last column you want to freeze -> View -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze Panes.
  • Freeze Rows and Columns at the Same Time: To freeze both rows and columns at the same time, make sure the cursor is below the row(s) and to the right of the column(s) you want to freeze -> View -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze Panes.

So, in our example, suppose you want to lock the first row, so that you can view the column heads. Go to View -> Click Freeze Panes -> Click Freeze Top Row. Done. You can now view the column heads even if you scroll down.

freezepanes2

Now, suppose you want to lock the first row and also the first 2 columns, so that you can always view the column heads and also the item codes. To do that, you’ll need to select cell C2, which is the cell just below the row you want to fix and just after the column you want to fix. Then go to View -> Click Freeze Panes -> Click Freeze Panes. You can see the effect in the below screenshot. Row 1 and Columns A and B would be fixed and you’ll always see them no matter how much you scroll down or right.

freezepanes3

Important: Please remember that you can only freeze rows and columns from the top and left respectively. In other words, Excel doesn’t allow you to fix rows or columns in the middle of a worksheet.

Unfreeze Panes

To remove the freezing of rows or columns, you just need to go to View -> Click Freeze Panes -> Click Unfreeze Panes.

I’d encourage you to try the Freeze Panes option explained above and see the effect for yourself. It’s a very useful feature of Excel and is a must-use option when working on big excel databases.

I hope you liked the article and if you did, please help me spread the word about MadAboutExcel by sharing it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn using the sharing buttons above and below this article.

Also, below are a few articles, I think you’d like to read:

Ultimate Guide to Data Cleaning in Excel – 11 Super-Powerful Data Cleaning Techniques

How To Easily Select All Cells Containing Formulas

Thanks for reading. See you soon. Happy Excelling!

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