25 Apr Learn to organize your data: Here’s how to freeze a row or column in an Excel spreadsheet
Microsoft Excel is a useful tool for managing data sets large and small. But it can quickly turn frustrating if you’re unsure how to get the desired outcome to sort your spreadsheet with so many menu options.
Freezing the top row of your spreadsheet is a good place to start. This function allows users to scroll through the remaining data and keep headers or important columns in their line of vision.
Here’s everything you need to know about the “freeze” setting in Excel and Google Sheets:
Microsoft How to freeze a row in Excel
If you want to keep your header row visible while you scroll up and down, freeze the top row in your spreadsheet with these easy steps:
- Go to “View” at the top menu
- Look for “Freeze Top Row,” a blue and white grid icon with an asterisk
If you’re working with an older version of Excel, it may have “Freeze Panes” as a dropdown menu option. If that’s the case, select “Freeze Top Row” from the options.
The “Freeze Panes” feature in Excel has three options, either presented side by side in your top panel or as a dropdown menu:
- Freeze Panes: Keeps rows and columns visible while you scroll through the spreadsheet
- Freeze Top Row: Keeps the top row visible
- Freeze First Column: Keeps the first column visible
When you complete this, you should see a darker gray line below your frozen row. As you scroll, it will remain at the top of the spreadsheet. To undo this action, click “Unfreeze Panes.”
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Microsoft How to freeze a column in Excel
Follow these steps to freeze the first column in your spreadsheet and keep it visible while you scroll to the left or right.
- Go to “View” at the top menu
- Look for “Freeze First Column,” a blue and white grid icon with an asterisk
If you’re working with an older version of Excel, it may have “Freeze Panes” as a dropdown menu option. If that’s the case, select “Freeze First Column” from the options. To undo this action, click “Unfreeze Panes.”
Microsoft How to freeze multiple rows and columns in Excel
You can freeze multiple rows by selecting a cell below the row you want to be fixed in place. The same applies to multiple columns – select the column to the right of the ones you want visible while you scroll.
In this photo example, cell C1 is selected because we want columns A and B to remain in place.
Microsoft How to freeze a row in Google Sheets
You can perform the same function in Sheets, the Google platform alternative to Microsoft Excel.
To freeze a row in a sheet, go to “View” in the top menu and choose from the following options:
- No rows: This acts as an “undo” button for any freeze actions already completed
- 1 row: Freezes the first row
- 2 rows: Freezes the first two rows
- Up to row X: The number in the “X” spot will be whatever row your cursor is currently on. Selecting “Up to row 4,” for example, will freeze the first four rows
And to freeze a column, use the options in the same dropdown menu:
- No columns: This acts as an “undo” button for any freeze actions already completed
- 1 column: Freezes the first column
- 2 columns: Freezes the first two columns
- Up to column X: The number in the “X” spot will be whatever column your cursor is currently on. Selecting “Up to column 3,” for example, will freeze the first three columns’ rows
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