How to freeze top row and first column in Excel



How to freeze top row and first column in Excel

Microsoft Excel is capable of holding vast amounts of information on one sheet. However, the amount of data on display is somewhat limited by the size of your screen. Eventually, you may need to scroll down or across sheet in order to view more data. But scrolling through the spreadsheet invariably causes row or column headings to disappear from view.

Fortunately, this is easily fixed by freezing the top row or first column. Excel has an easy to use function which enables you to lock the top row or first column into place so they remain in view while you scroll through your spreadsheet. The steps given here are relevant to Excel 2007 and 2010 but the process is similar for earlier versions.


Instructions

Step 1

To freeze the top row.

Click in any cell on your spreadsheet then browse along the top menu bar until you find the ‘View‘ tab. Click once on this to open up the view options. In the ‘Window‘ group under the ‘View’ tab, look for the icon called ‘Freeze Panes‘.

Step 2

Click on the arrow and scroll down to the option ‘Freeze Top Row‘. Click once on ‘Freeze Top Row‘ and that’s it. You will notice a solid line appears underneath the top row. This indicates the row is locked in place and you can now scroll down the sheet while the top row remains visible.

Step 3

To freeze the first column.

Follow the procedure as per Step 1. Click on the arrow and scroll down to the option ‘Freeze First Column‘ and click on this once. A solid line will appear to the right of the first column. This indicates the column is locked in place and you can now scroll along to the right while the first column remains visible.

Step 4

To freeze both top row and first column.

If you want to freeze the top row and the first column, just click into the cell which is directly underneath the row(s) and to the right of the column(s) you want to freeze, for example, cell B2. Now browse to the ‘View‘ tab and click once to open up the options. Click once on the ‘Freeze Panes‘ icon. The row(s) and columns(s) above and to the left of the cell you clicked in are now locked.


Things Needed
• Microsoft Excel
• A set of data with row headings and/or column headings

Tips & Warnings
• To unfreeze panes, browse to the ‘View’ tab, then ‘Freeze Panes’. Choose the ‘Unfreeze Panes’ option and rows and/or columns will unfreeze.
• If the top row is locked and you try to freeze the first column, the top row will ‘unfreeze’ and the first column will freeze. The opposite occurs if you freeze the first column then try to freeze the top row. Use Step 5 to freeze both top row and first column.
• If you’re using Excel 97, 2000, 2003 or XP, the process is similar except you browse straight to the ‘Window’ tab on the toolbar and select ‘Freeze Panes’. There is no separate option for columns or rows. To freeze the first column, click in cell B1 then choose ‘Freeze Panes’. To freeze the top row, click in cell A2 then choose ‘Freeze Panes’. Click in cell B2 to freeze both top row and first column.

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