How to freeze columns or rows in a list

When you're working with a big list, it's often handy to freeze headers or columns so that they're always visible as you scroll through the data. In this lesson, we'll look at how to do that.

Let's take a look.

Here we have a large table with a header row at the top. Notice that as we scroll down through the data, the headers scroll off the screen.

And, if we scroll to the right, the company name is no longer visible. This makes it hard to understand the worksheet, because we aren't able to see the columns and headers that give the data meaning.

Excel provides three options for freezing columns and rows so that they don't scroll off the screen as you move through large sets of data.

These options are visible on the view tab, in the Freeze Panes menu.

If you want to freeze only the top row of a list in a worksheet, choose Freeze Top Row from the menu. The top row in the visible portion of the worksheet will then be locked and remain visible as you scroll down through the data.

To unfreeze the top row, choose Unfreeze Panes from the same menu.

To freeze only the first visible column, select Freeze First Column from the menu. The first column in the visible portion of the worksheet will now be locked and will remain visible as you scroll.

To unfreeze the first column, choose Unfreeze Panes from the menu.

You can also freeze both columns and rows at the same time.

To freeze both rows and columns, select the upper left cell in the data you don't want to freeze. Then choose Freeze Panes from the menu.

Now the rows above this cell, and the columns to the left of this cell will be frozen, and remain visible as you scroll.

Choose Unfreeze Panes to reset.

The Freeze Panes option is especially useful when your worksheet contains more than just your data, as in this example. Just select the first cell in the data you don't want to freeze, and choose Freeze Panes.

Note that freezing panes has no effect on printing. It only affects your view of the worksheet on screen.

Author: 
Dave Bruns