Freezing column and row labels in Excel

Posted June 18, 2018

Sharyn Baines

Freezing column and row labels in Excel (a.k.a Freeze Panes) locks parts of your screen so that you don’t lose sight of the heading labels at the top of a column or beginning of a row when you scroll.

When working on large worksheets, labels used to identify data can be lost when you scroll in either direction, and then you find yourself wasting time scrolling backwards and forwards, up and down, just to check you are actually in the correct column and row.

Freezing row and column panes

Freezing panes can be used when you want to keep row and column labels visible as you scroll.

1. Click on the cell below and to the right of the row and column you want frozen.

2. From the View tab, in the Window group, click on Freeze Panes and select the top option Freeze Panes.

Excel Freeze Panes


3. Non-printing lines will indicate the position of the freeze points. In the image below the user  selected the cell holding $78.12 in column K prior to turning Freeze Panes on. Therefore the freeze points are above row 2 and to the left of column K.

As you scroll the rows and columns inside of the frozen area will constantly be visible.

This may seem confusing at times when you can’t see all of your data. For example, in the example below columns D to J are hidden. To see these columns you would need to scroll to the left to expose them again.

Excel Freeze Panes


Unfreezing panes

From the View tab, in the Window group, click on Freeze Panes and select Unfreeze Panes.


Sharyn is an expert trainer.  She became the first certified Microsoft® MOUS Authorised Instructor in New Zealand.

She is endorsed by Microsoft® as a qualified Microsoft® Office Specialist and has more than 20 years of experience in the training industry, developing and delivering technology training workshops. Her approach to taking the “techie-speak” out of technology training has placed her as a preferred supplier to many of New Zealand’s leading organisations.

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