If you work with large spreadsheets, you often need to scroll down or right quite frequently, looking for information. However, this means moving away from the information you need to keep an eye on. The first row usually contains the column headers or field labels, while the first column tends to contain identifying information for the row or record. Fortunately, you can easily freeze rows, columns, and panes in Microsoft Excel, so you can always keep the information you need in sight.
In this guide, you will learn how to freeze rows, columns, and panes in Microsoft Excel. You will learn how to freeze the top row or the first column from the ‘View’ menu. You will also learn how to freeze panes, which can combine rows and columns. You have step-by-step instructions on how to use the ‘Freeze Panes’ options to freeze both rows and columns, only rows, or only columns. Finally, you will learn how to unfreeze rows, columns, and panes in Google Sheets.
How to Freeze the Top Row in Excel?
Freezing the top row of the current sheet in Excel is very easy. Go to the View tab and click “Freeze Top Row”.
That’s it. You can now scroll as far down as you want without losing track of the information in the first row.
How to Freeze the First Column in Excel?
Freezing the top column is just as easy as freezing the top row. On the ‘View’ tab, click ‘Freeze First Column”
That’s it. You can now scroll as far right as you want without losing track of the information in the first column.
How to Freeze Panes in Excel?
Think of it as selecting the first cell that you don’t want to freeze. Excel will freeze anything above or to the left of the cell you select. This means you can freeze the top row and first column simultaneously. In fact, you can choose to freeze a different number of rows and columns, as well as only freeze multiple rows or multiple columns only.
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Freeze Top Row & First Column
As mentioned above, when using the pane option, Excel will freeze anything above and to the left of the cell you select. If you want to freeze the top row and first column, select cell B2 and click ‘Freeze Pane’.
As you can see below, row 1 and column A are now frozen in place, no matter how far down or right you scroll.
Freeze Multiple Rows & Columns
Sometimes, tables are not placed neatly on the top left corner of the spreadsheet, and they’re not yours to move. However, you still want to be able to freeze the headers and the first column with data. The option to ‘Freeze Panes’ is very flexible, so you can do this easily.
Just remember to select the first cell you don’t want to freeze, as Excel will freeze anything to the left or above your selection when you click ‘Freeze Pane’ in the ‘View’ tab.
That’s it. Multiple rows and columns are now frozen, so you can move around your table while keeping an eye on the information you need.
Freeze Multiple Rows
To freeze multiple rows only, select a cell in the first column in the row below the last one you want to freeze.
The rows above the selected cell are now frozen.
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Freeze Multiple Columns
To freeze multiple columns only, select a cell in the first row in the column to the right of the last one you want to freeze.
The columns to the left of the selected cell are now frozen.
How to Unfreeze Rows, Columns, and Panes in Excel?
Fortunately, unfreezing rows, columns, or panes is even easier than freezing them.
Go to the ‘View’ tab and click ‘Unfreeze Panes’, and this will instantly unfreeze any frozen rows and columns.
If the ‘Unfreeze Panes” is not available, it means there are no frozen rows or panes in that sheet.
Freezing rows and columns is easy in Microsoft Excel. In the ‘View’ tab, there are two buttons to instantly freeze the top row or the first column without even having to select them first. However, there are times when you need to freeze multiple rows or columns or even both at the same time.
Fortunately, there is another button that allows you to freeze as many rows and columns as you want: ‘Freeze Panes’. Just select the cell below the row you want to freeze, and to the right of the column you want to freeze, then click ‘Freeze Panes’. Finally, you also know that you can instantly unfreeze any frozen rows, columns, or panes in your sheet by clicking a single button: ‘Unfreeze Panes’.
To learn how to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets, as well as other Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets topics, check out our guides on:
- How to Freeze a Row or Column in Google Sheets
- How to Unhide Excel Sheets and How to Hide Sheets in Excel
- How To Hide And Unhide Tabs In Google Sheets
- How to Lock Cells in Excel (Cells, Sheets & Formulas)
- How to Unlock Cells in Excel
- How to Combine Multiple Excel Columns Into One
- How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets (Complete Guide)