How to Freeze Panes in Excel
Ensure certain cells remain visible as you scroll through the data in an Excel sheet by freezing either the top row or the first column or multiple rows and columns together.
If you have a large amount of data in excel and when scrolling down or scrolling horizontally, you don’t want to lose sight of a certain row or column. For instance, if the first column in your worksheet contains names, you might want to freeze that column to make sure that the names remain visible as you scroll through (horizontally) in your worksheet.
You can do that by the ‘Freeze Panes’ feature in Excel that keeps specific rows or columns visible when you scroll through in the worksheet. Now, let’s see how you can freeze panes.
How to Freeze Top Row
When you scrolling down the worksheet, you might want to keep your eye on the top row which contains the header of the sheet. To do that, head to the ‘View’ tab and click ‘Freeze Panes’ in the Ribbon, and select the ‘Freeze Top Row’ option.
As you can see, the header in the following example is still visible when I scroll down to row 14.
How to Freeze Multiple Rows
Excel allows you to freeze not just one row but as many rows as possible. To freeze rows of your choice, first, select the row below the last row that you want to freeze, then go to the ‘View’ tab, and select the ‘Freeze Panes’ option in the Freeze Panes drop-down menu.
In the example, we froze the first four rows and a line separates the frozen rows and unfrozen rows.
How to Freeze First Column
You can freeze the first column of the sheet, the same way you can freeze the first row, except this time, you have to select the ‘Freeze First Column’ instead of the Freeze Top Row option in the ‘Freeze Panes’ menu.
Now, when you scroll horizontally, the ‘First Name’ column is frozen and remains visible.
How To Freeze Multiple Columns
To freeze multiple columns, select the column to the right of the last column you want to lock (freeze) when you scroll. In the following example, we wish to freeze the first two columns, so we are selecting the third column (C1).
And then click ‘Freeze Panes’ (first option) in the ‘Freeze Panes’ drop-down menu.
Now, when you scroll to the right to see the ‘City’ column (E), columns A and B will remain visible on the far left of your worksheet.
How to Freeze Rows and Columns Together
You have seen how to freeze both one and multiple rows and columns separately. Now, let’s see how you can freeze single column or multiple columns and single row or multiple rows at the same time. There is no limit on how many rows or columns you can freeze in Excel.
Make sure that you select the cell below the rows and to the right of the columns you want frozen when you scroll. And click ‘Freeze Panes’ in the ‘View’ tab.
In the example below, we want the first 4 rows and first 2 columns to remain visible when we scroll. So we selected the cell C5 which is in the upper-left corner of the range we want to remain viewable as you scroll down and to the right.
Now, columns A, B, and the first 4 rows are frozen in the following example.
How to Unfreeze Rows or Columns
You can unfreeze any and all rows and columns anytime you want. Also, for example, if you only froze the first row before, and now you want to freeze the first 3 rows, you have to unfreeze the frozen rows first before you freeze any other rows and columns.
To unfreeze rows or columns, click on the ‘Unfreeze Panes’ option on the ‘Freeze Panes’ menu of the ‘View’ tab.
Remember, freezing panes is different than splitting panes. If you split panes, Excel creates 2 or 4 individual worksheet areas that you can scroll within, while rows or columns other areas remain visible.