When working with heaps of spreadsheet data on your laptop, keeping track of everything can be strenuous. It’s one thing to compare one or two rows of information when handling a small subset of data, but things get unmanageable when a dozen rows are involved. And we haven’t even started about columns yet. There’s only one solution when your spreadsheets become unhandy: freeze the rows and columns.
The tutorial allows you to keep rows and columns viewable while you navigate to another area of the worksheet. This will help you in how to freeze rows and columns in Excel.
Below, you will find the detailed procedure to freeze a row or multiple rows, column and row at once, and one or more columns.
Freeze rows or columns
It’s crucial to ponder the following before you choose to freeze rows or columns in a worksheet:
- You cannot freeze rows and columns in the Excel middle of the worksheet.
- You can freeze only columns on the left side and rows at the top of the worksheet.
- When you’re in cell editing mode, the Freeze Panes command is unavailable or when a worksheet is secured.
- Press Enter or Esc to cancel the editing mode
How to freeze rows in Excel
- Choose the row right below the row or rows you want to freeze. For example, if we want to freeze rows 1 to 5, we’ve selected row 6.
- Go to the View tab. Its location is at the very top, between “Review” and “Add-ins.”
- Select the Freeze Panes option and click “Freeze Panes.”
- It can find the selection in the same place where “New Window” and “Arrange All” are located.
That’s all; the frozen rows will stay visible when you scroll down. You can tell where the rows were frozen by the line dividing the fixed rows and the rows below them.
Go back to the Freeze Panes command, if you want to unfreeze the rows and choose “Unfreeze Panes.”
How to freeze columns in Excel
Freezing columns in Excel is done similarly by using the “Freeze Panes” commands.
Click the View tab > Freeze Panes > Freeze First Column to freeze the first column in a sheet.
While you scroll to the right, this will make the leftmost column visible at all times.
If you want to freeze one or more columns, you need to undergo the following steps:
- Select the column to the right of the last column you want to lock.
- Go to the View tab, and click Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes.
- For instance, select the whole column C or cell C1 to freeze the first two columns and click Freeze Panes.
This will lock the first two columns in order, enabling you to view the cells in frozen columns as you pass over the worksheet in the form of the thicker and darker border.
How to freeze rows and columns in Excel
Besides locking columns and rows separately, you can freeze rows and columns in excel at the same time. Here’s how:
- Select a cell to the right of the previous column, and below the last row, you’d like to freeze.
- On the View tab, click Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes.
Exactly, it’s that facile 🙂
In the same style, you can freeze as many columns and rows as you want as long as you start with the leftmost column and top row. For example, if you select cell C2, excel freezes the top row and the first two columns; to freeze the first two rows and the first two columns, you choose C3, and so forth.
How to unlock rows and columns in Excel
Go to the View tab, Window group, and click Freeze Panes > Unfreeze Panes to unlock frozen rows or columns.
Freeze Panes are not working.
If the Freeze Panes button is greyed out (disabled) in your worksheet, probably it’s because of the following reasons:
- You are in cell editing mode; for instance, you entered editing data in a cell. To exit cell editing mode, press the Enter or Esc key.
- Please remove the workbook protection if your worksheet is secured and freeze rows or columns.
Other ways to lock columns and rows in Excel
Microsoft Excel provides a few more ways to lock certain areas of a sheet, apart from freezing panes.
Split panes instead of freezing panes
Splitting a worksheet into various parts is another way to freeze rows and columns in Excel. You need to go through these steps:
- When scrolling across the worksheet, freezing panes allows you to keep particular rows or columns visible.
- Splitting panes divide the Excel window into two or four areas.
- It can be scrolled separately.
- The cells in the other area remain fixed when you scroll within one place.
Select a cell to the right of the column or below the row to split Excel’s window, and click the Split button on the View tab > Window group. To undo a split, click the Split button again.
Use tables to freeze the top row in Excel.
Convert a range to a fully-functional Excel table if you’d like the header row to stay permanent at the top while you scroll down.
Print header rows on every page
Suppose you’d like to redo the top row or rows on each printed page, switch to the Page Layout tab, Page Setup group, click the Print Titles button, go to the Sheet tab, and select Rows to repeat at the top.
Here we have concisely highlighted some options for freezing rows and columns in Excel. This brief Freeze Panes guide will help you acknowledge how the Freeze Panes option works in Excel.
You can work on huge databases or files where you have to scroll a lot or move horizontally and vertically without losing sight of the headers and refer to them whenever required. If you select and freeze the rows and columns correctly, these will always be viewable, irrespective of what lengths you move right or scroll down.