Did you know that you can set up your Excel document so that specific cells (such as rows serving as column headings) are constantly displayed, even when you scroll down and/or across a worksheet? One way to achieve this is by using Excel’s “freeze panes” option. Below is a quick explanation of how to activate freeze panes options in Microsoft Excel 2010.
To begin, place your cursor in the next row down from the row or rows of headings that you want to have displayed constantly in your Excel worksheet. If you want the entirety of the previous row(s) to display, place the cursor in the very left-hand cell of the next row down. Otherwise, place the cursor underneath and to the right of the rows and columns you want to view. Next, activate one of Excel’s freeze pane options by clicking on the “View” tab in the upper navigation ribbon. Then click on the freeze panes icon within the “View” tab, and choose from one of the three freeze panes options that will appear. (Keystrokes to access the view tab in Microsoft Excel 2010: press the alt key and then release it; next, press the w key and release it to access the navigation ribbon’s “View” tab; then press the f key to access freeze pane options.)
Freeze Panes Options
When you click on the freeze panes icon in the View tab’s menu, three options are available, as illustrated in the screenshot below.
Freeze panes: keeps rows and columns visible, while the rest of the worksheet scrolls (based on the currently selected rows and columns). (If you have used keystrokes to navigate to the “View” tab and then to the freeze panes icon, next press the f key a second time.)
Choose the freeze panes option to constantly display more than one of the uppermost rows as you scroll down in the worksheet. Also use this option if you want to freeze the display of information in columns and/or rows located somewhere other than at the top of the worksheet.
Freeze top row: keeps the top row visible while scrolling through the rest of the worksheet. (If you have used keystrokes to navigate to the “View” tab and then to the freeze panes icon, next press the r key.)
Freeze first column: keep the first column visible while scrolling through the rest of the worksheet. (If you have used keystrokes to navigate to the “View” tab and then to the freeze panes icon, next press the c key.)
Below is a screenshot of part of a household shopping list in an Excel worksheet. I want rows 1 and 2 of the list to be displayed constantly as I scroll down in the worksheet. Therefore, I’ll begin by placing the cursor in the very left-hand cell of row 3. In the screenshot below, the mouse is hovering over the cell, but nothing has been clicked on yet.
Next, I’ll click on the left-most cell, at the very beginning of row 3. This selects all the contents in row 3 of the worksheet. When you select a row in Excel, the entire row is surrounded by a darker border, as illustrated in the following screenshot.
Now that I’ve designated the rows to have displayed constantly, I need to activate one of Excel’s freeze pane options. To do so I’ll first click on the “View” tab in the upper navigation ribbon, and then click on the freeze panes icon. Then I’ll select the “freeze panes” option, which is the first of the three freeze panes options.
Once I’ve activated freeze panes, the top two rows will remain visible when I scroll down in the worksheet, as illustrated in the following screenshot.
Want to learn more? Check out the following two Excel-related resources:
Microsoft Office help feature on how to freeze or lock rows and columns in Excel
John Burke’s blog, Computer Basics for Free