Wondering how to freeze rows and columns in Excel? Well, this is how easy it is.
Microsoft Excel is used for big and complex tasks that includes data filtering, analyzing and calculating data of companies of all sizes. It is challenging to keep track of everything while you are working on data this gigantic.
You can compare one or two rows of information but when you have to do the same with dozens of rows, it becomes a very complex and confusing task that can easily make you do several mistakes without you knowing. And this is just about rows, when it comes to columns, the task is even more difficult.
But thanks to MS Excel as it gives us one of the best features that let you do this complex and unmanageable task in a simple way: freeing the rows and columns.
Freezing columns and rows makes navigation much easier and the work process faster. By using this feature, you can choose panes and lock them which means only those specific rows and columns will be visible. The best part is that Excel does not limit the number of rows and columns that can be frozen. You can freeze as many as you want as you work on a big spreadsheet.
Let us now learn how you can freeze rows and columns and everything around this amazing feature of MS Excel.
How To Freeze Rows or Columns In Excel
Freeze the First Column
- Select View. Choose Freeze Panes and Freeze First Column.
- The faint line that appears between Columns A and B shows that the first column is frozen.
Freeze the First two Columns
- Select the third column.
- Select View, Freeze Panes and then select Freeze Panes.
Freeze Columns and Rows
- Select the cell below the rows and to the right of the columns, you want to keep visible when you scroll.
- Select View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes.
How To Freeze Top Row In Excel
To freeze or lock the top row in Excel, go to the View tab, select Window Group and then click Freeze Panes followed by Freeze Top Row.
This is how you can easily lock the first row in any worksheet to make it visible throughout the navigation on the rest of the worksheet.
The grey line below the selected frozen cell determines whether it is frozen or blocked. Refer to the picture below:
How To Freeze Multiple Rows In Excel
In the case of big data and you want to freeze multiple rows in Excel, you can follow these steps:
- Select the row (or the first cell in the row) right below the last row you want to freeze.
- On the View tab, click Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes.
For instance, if you want to freeze the top two rows in Excel, select cell A3 or the entire row 3, and click Freeze Panes:
Now you’ll be able to view the frozen cells in the first two rows while you scroll through the sheet content.
- You cannot lock or freeze rows that are in the middle of the worksheet. You can only freeze rows at the top of the spreadsheet.
- While blocking the rows, make sure all of them are visible. In case some of them are not, those rows will be hidden after freezing.
How To Freeze Columns In Excel
You can freeze columns in Microsoft Excel in a similar way by using the Freeze pans commands.
How To Lock The First Column In Excel
To freeze the first column in a sheet, click on the View tab > Select Freeze Panes > Click on Freeze First Column.
With these steps, you can make the left-most column visible at all times as you scroll to the right.
How To Freeze Multiple Columns In Excel
If you want to freeze more than one column, here are the steps for the same:
- Select the column (or the first cell in the column) to the right of the last column you want to lock.
- Go to the View tab, click Freeze Panes, and select freezer Panes.
For instance, to freeze the first two columns, select the whole column C or cell C1, and click Freeze Panes:
This way you will lock the first two columns which will be indicated by the darker and thicker border which would also enable you to see the cells in frozen columns.
Columns in the middle of the excel sheet cannot be frozen. You can only freeze columns on the left side of the sheet.
All the columns to be locked should be visible, any columns that are out of view will be hidden after freezing.
How To Freeze Rows And Columns In Excel Together
Not just freezing rows and columns separately, you can also freeze them at the same time and here is how you can do it:
- Select a cell below the last row and to the right of the last column, you’d like to freeze.
- On the View tab, click Freeze Panes and then click Freeze Panes.
And it is done! Yes, it is this simple.
Let us look at an example, to freeze the first column and top row in a single step, select cell B2 and select Freeze Panes:
By doing this, your leftmost column and header row will always be viewable as you scroll on the worksheet.
Similarly, you can freeze as many rows and columns as you want. You just have to start with the top row and leftmost column.
Let us take a look at another example: to lock the top row and the first 2 columns, you select cell C2; to freeze the first two rows and the first two columns, you select C3, and so on.
How To Unlock Rows And Columns In Excel
We have learnt to freeze rows and columns. Now let us learn how to unlock frozen rows and/or columns, go to the View tab, Window group, click Freeze Panes and select Unfreeze Panes.
Freeze Panes Not Working
In case your Freeze Panes button is not working or is disabled (greyed out) in the worksheet it can be because of the following reasons:
- Check if you are in cell editing mode. To exit the editing mode, press Enter or Esc key.
- Your worksheet is protected. You must remove the workbook protection and start freezing columns and rows.
How To Unfreeze Rows or Columns
On the View tab,> Click Window > Select Unfreeze Panes.
Other Ways To Lock Columns And Rows In Excel
You can also lock certain areas in a sheet apart from freezing panes.
Split panes instead of freezing panes
You can split a worksheet area into several parts. The difference between the two is:
Freezing panes let you keep certain rows or/and columns visible when scrolling across the worksheet.
Splitting panes divide the Excel window into two or four areas that you can scroll separately. As you scroll within one area, the cells in the other area(s) remain fixed.
To split Excel’s window, select a cell below the row or to the right of the column, click the Split button on the View tab > and then select Window group. To undo a split, click the Split button again.
Use Tables To Lock The Top Row In Excel
To permanently make the header row fixed at the top, convert a range to a fully-functional Excel table.
You can do so by pressing the Ctrl + T shortcut.
MS Excel is a Microsoft software program that uses spreadsheets to organize numbers and data using formulas and functions. MS Excel can be used by ordinary people for simple tasks such as average determination and pivot table use, as well as more complex ones such as the VLOOKUP function and concatenation in Excel.
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