Freeze Panes in Excel

Freeze Panes in Excel

Freezing panes in excel helps freeze one or more rows and/or columns so that they remain fixed while scrolling through the database. Freezing panes is helpful when the dataset is large and there is a need to view certain sections of the data at all times.

For example, to freeze the first three rows and the first three columns of a blank Excel worksheet, we undertake the following steps:

  • Select the cell D4.
  • Click the “freeze panes” drop-down from the View tab of the Excel ribbon.
  • Select the option “freeze panes.”

Rows 1, 2, and 3 and columns A, B, and C are frozen. Hence, by freezing panes, the user knows the kind of data contained in these fixed rows (1, 2, and 3) and columns (A, B, and C). Moreover, since these rows and columnsRows And ColumnsA cell is the intersection of rows and columns. Rows and columns make the software that is called excel. The area of excel worksheet is divided into rows and columns and at any point in time, if we want to refer a particular location of this area, we need to refer a cell.read more can be viewed at any point of time, one need not go back to them again and again.

Likewise, freezing excel panes can be applied to the row and column headers of a database. This allows one to constantly view the headings.

With the “freeze panes” drop-down (in the View tab), one can freeze any of the following areas of a worksheet:

  1. The first row or the first column
  2. The panes, which includes:
    • one or more rows beginning from the top and/or
    • one or more columns beginning from the left

Let us consider some examples to understand the working of freezing panes in Excel.

Freeze Panes in Excel Examples

You can download this Freeze Pans Excel Template here – Freeze Pans Excel Template

Example #1–Freeze the Top Row in Excel

The following image shows the sales revenueSales RevenueSales revenue refers to the income generated by any business entity by selling its goods or providing its services during the normal course of its operations. It is reported annually, quarterly or monthly as the case may be in the business entity's income statement/profit & loss account.read more (in $ in column B) generated in various countries (column C) by the different sales personnel (column A) of an organization. The entire data relates to the four quarters of a year.

We want to freeze the top row (row 1) of the given dataset.

Freeze the top row Example 1

The steps for freezing the first row in Excel are listed as follows:

  1. Click the “freeze panes” drop-down from the “window” group of the View tab. Select “freeze top row” as shown in the following image.


    Freeze the top row Example 1-1

  2. The entire first row (row 1) is frozen. A horizontal gray line appears right below row 1. This line indicates that the row immediately above is frozen.
    To cross-check, one can scroll down the worksheet. The row containing the column headers is fixed. The same is shown in the following image.


    Freeze the top row Example 1-2

Example #2–Freeze the First Column in Excel

Working on the data of example #1, we want to freeze the first column (column A) of the given dataset.

Freeze the First Column Example 1

The steps for freezing the first column of Excel are listed as follows:

Step 1: From the “window” group of the View tab, click the “freeze panes” drop-down. Select “freeze first column,” as shown in the following image.

Freeze the First Column Example 1-1

Step 2: The entire first column (column A) is frozen. A vertical gray line appears right next to column A (or between columns A and B). This line indicates that the column immediately to the left is frozen.

If one scrolls from left to right, column A stays at its place. The same is shown in the following image.

Freeze the First Column Example 1-2

Example #3–Freeze the Top Row and the First Column Together

Working on the data of example #1, we want to freeze the first row (row 1) and the first column (column A) simultaneously.

Freeze Panes Excel example 1

The steps to freeze the first row and the first column simultaneously are listed as follows:

Step 1: Select the cell B2. From the “freeze panes” drop-down (in the View tab), select “freeze panes.” The same is shown in the following image.

Freeze Panes Excel example 1-1

Step 2: Row 1 and column A, both are frozen. A horizontal grey line appears below row 1 and a vertical grey line appears right next to column A. The same is shown in the following image.

The row immediately preceding the active cell (B2) is frozen. Likewise, the column immediately to the left of cell B2 is also frozen.

Note: One must select the cell (in step 1) cautiously. This is because the “freeze panes” option works on the basis of the current selection. It freezes the rows and columns immediately preceding the active or the selected cell.

Freeze Panes Excel example 1-2

Freeze Multiple Rows and Columns Together in Excel

The steps to freeze multiple rows and columns are listed as follows:

Step 1: Select the correct cell. The selected cell should be positioned as follows:

  • a. The selected cell should be immediately below the last row to be frozen.
  • b. The selected cell should be to the immediate right of the last column to be frozen.

Follow both the pointers a and b to freeze multiple rows and columns simultaneously.

Step 2: Select “freeze panes” from the “freeze panes” drop-down of the View tab.

The rows and columns immediately preceding the selected cell (selected in step 1) are frozen.

Note: It is also possible to freeze either multiple rows or multiple columns. One can freeze as many rows and/or columns as one wants. However, the freezing of multiple rows and/or columns should begin from the first row (row 1) and the first column (column A) respectively.

Shortcut to Freeze Panes in Excel

The shortcuts to freeze panes in excel are mentioned as follows:

  • To freeze rows and columns both: Press the keys “Alt+W+F+F” one by one. This freezes rows and columns preceding the currently selected cell.
  • To freeze the top row only: Press the keys “Alt+W+F+R” one by one. This freezes the first row (row 1) of the worksheet irrespective of the currently selected cell.
  • To freeze the leftmost column only: Press the keys “Alt+W+F+C” one by one. This freezes the first column (column A) of the worksheet irrespective of the currently selected cell.

Unfreeze Panes in Excel

The steps to unfreeze panes in excel are listed as follows:

Step 1: Click the drop-down arrow of “freeze panes” in the “window” group of the View tab.

Step 2: Click “unfreeze panes,” as shown in the succeeding image. The gray lines, which appeared as a result of freezing, will disappear.

The “unfreeze panes” option is quite useful when one is unable to figure out where the freezes have been applied in the worksheet.

Note 1: The “unfreeze panes” option appears (under the drop-down of “freeze panes”) after one or more rows and/or columns are frozen by the user.

Note 2: Once the “unfreeze panes” option is clicked, the rows and columns are no longer fixed. So, the worksheet prior to freezing is displayed.

Freeze Panes Excel example 1-3

The Purpose of Freezing Panes in Excel

The objectives of freezing panes in excel are listed as follows:

  • To prevent referring to the same set of data repeatedly, thus saving the scrolling time of the user
  • To know which row or column represents which data
  • To facilitate comparisons of the different sections of the worksheet

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does freezing panes mean and where is this option in Excel?

Freezing panes helps lock or fix certain rows and/or columns of a worksheet so that they remain stationary with a movement through the database. For instance, while working with large datasets, the user may need to keep the row or column headers visible at all times.

By freezing panes, the scrolling time of the user is reduced. This is because the need to refer to the same worksheet area repeatedly is eliminated. Moreover, making comparisons between the different rows or columns becomes easier.

The “freeze panes” option is available under the “freeze panes” drop-down (in the “window” group) of the View tab of Excel. This option freezes one or more rows and/or columns based on the current selection.

In addition, one can use the options “freeze top row” and “freeze first column” (under the “freeze panes” drop-down) to freeze the first row and the first column respectively.

2. How to freeze panes horizontally and vertically in Excel?

To freeze panes horizontally, the user needs to freeze one or more rows. To freeze panes vertically, one or more columns need to be frozen.

The steps to freeze one or more rows and/or columns are listed as follows:

a. Select the relevant cell. This cell should be immediately below the last row to be frozen. Further, it should be to the right of the last column to be frozen.
b. From the “freeze panes” drop-down (in the “window”d group) of the View tab, select “freeze panes”.

The row preceding the active cell (selected in step a) is frozen. Moreover, the column to the left of this cell is also frozen. The gray lines appear which indicate the frozen panes.

Note: With this method, one can freeze any number of rows and columns. The condition is that the freezing of panes must begin from the first row (row 1) and the first column (column A). In other words, the rows and columns in the middle of the worksheet cannot be frozen.

3. How to freeze multiple panes in Excel?

It is possible to freeze multiple rows and columns simultaneously in Excel. However, one cannot freeze panes in the middle of the worksheet. For instance, one cannot create a horizontal pane consisting of rows 9, 10, and 11.

The user can create a horizontal pane which consists of stationary rows beginning from row 1. Likewise, a vertical pane consisting of stationary columns, beginning from column A, can be created.

Apart from one horizontal pane and one vertical pane, it is not possible to create additional panes in the middle of the worksheet. Hence, one cannot create multiple horizontal or multiple vertical panes in Excel.

In other words, a horizontal pane (rows 1, 2, and 3) followed by a scrollable area (rows 4, 5, and 6), and again a horizontal pane (rows 7, 8, and 9) cannot be created.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to freezing panes in Excel. Here we discuss how to freeze the rows and columns in Excel by using the “freeze panes” option. We also went through some examples. You can download an Excel template from the website. You may also look at these useful functions of Excel–

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