Freeze or Fix Column or Row Headings in Excel

When you have to work with a large Excel spreadsheet, you can easily lose track of exactly what kind of information is included in certain columns or rows when scrolling around the sheet.

When you are at the very top of the spreadsheet, all headers are visible, but when you start scrolling the window they stay on the top of a spreadsheet, disappearing from the view.

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There are a few ways to fix it.

Freeze the top row with a table

When you create a table (Insert >> Tables >> Table), and start scrolling, the header turns grey, but it stays on the top, instead of disappearing.

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Freeze the top row

If you don’t want to create a table from the data, or just want to keep the header with the same formatting as before, you can go to View >> Window >> Freeze Panes and click Freeze Top Row.

This action will lock the first row of the spreadsheet across all columns from A to XFD.

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Freeze the first column

Similarly, you can freeze the first column. Go to View >> Window >> Freeze Panes, but instead of choosing Freeze Top Row, choose Freeze First Column.

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Freeze several columns and rows

So far so good, but let’s say that the cells in the first two rows are merged. When you use the Freeze Top Row method, there are going to be problems.

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The cells First Name and Last Name occupy two rows and Age and (years) are inside single cells. When you try to lock the top row, you will get strange results:

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We can easily fix this problem by using another option, called Freeze Panes, located under the same button.

Before you do that, click cell A3 and choose the option. If you try to freeze panes while your active cell isn’t in column A, all columns on the left will also be frozen. This way you can lock both horizontal and vertical headings simultaneously.

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Unfreeze panes

If you want to get rid of the frozen panes, you can click the Unfreeze Panes button and all the rows and columns will be restored.

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