Easy steps to freeze Excel rows and columns, and which option to use. How to fix and avoid problems with hidden rows and columns when freezing.
If you want to scroll down the worksheet, and lock the heading rows in place, so they're always visible, you can use one of the Freeze Panes commands.
The 3 Freeze Pane options work differently, and each option is explained below.
-- Freeze Panes
If you select the Freeze Top Row command, it does not automatically freeze Row 1 on the worksheet.
After freezing the top row:
If you select the Freeze First Column command, it does not automatically freeze Column A on the worksheet.
After freezing the first column:
The Freeze Panes command gives you more options on what should be frozen on the worksheet. Instead of a single row or a single column, you can freeze one or more rows at the top, as well as one or more columns at the left.
With Freeze Panes command, the freeze point is set based on what is selected on the worksheet,
The following table shows which VISIBLE rows and VISIBLE columns will be frozen, based on what you've selected on the worksheet, and which cell is active.
|Selection||Active Cell||Frozen VISIBLE Rows||Frozen VISIBLE Columns|
|Cell(s)||A1||All visible rows above the centre of the Excel window||All visible columns to the left of centre in the Excel window|
|Cell(s)||Any cell except A1||All visible rows above the active cell||All visible columns to the left of the active cell|
|Entire row(s)||A1||All visible rows above the centre of the Excel window||All visible columns to the left of centre in the Excel window|
|Entire row(s)||Any cell except A1||All visible rows above the active cell||None|
|Entire column(s)||A1||All visible rows above the centre of the Excel window||All visible columns to the left of centre in the Excel window|
|Entire column(s)||Any cell except A1||None||All visible columns to the left of the active cell|
|Entire worksheet||A1||All visible rows above the centre of the Excel window||All visible columns to the left of centre in the Excel window|
|Entire worksheet||Any cell except A1||All visible rows above the active cell||All visible columns to the left of the active cell|
After using the Freeze Panes command:
After any type of Freeze Panes command has been used, you can use the Unfreeze Panes command to remove the freezing.
Usually it's easy to unhide rows or columns in an Excel worksheet, but occasionally you can run into problems. In these cases, try one of the following techniques:
In some cases, the rows or columns aren't really hidden. There are frozen rows or columns, and the "hidden" sections are out of view.
This short video shows the problem, and how to fix it. There are written steps below the video.
To see if freezing is the problem of hidden rows, follow these steps:
The "hidden" rows or columns might reappear after that, when you scroll to the top or left of the worksheet.
If unfreezing didn't fix the problem of hidden rows, this extend selection trick might help. This short video shows the "Extend Selection" technique, and the written steps are below the video.
When the hidden rows are at the very top of the sheet, it's hard to select the hidden rows, in order to unhide them.
Try the following steps, to extend the selection, and show the hidden rows:
NOTE: For hidden columns, press the first visible column button, and drag to the left.
Sometimes, your freeze panes, gridlines, and other Excel window settings might disappear automatically.
This usually happens if you open a new window for and Excel file, so you can see two views of it at the same time. For example, you might open a second window to see the cell formulas in one window, and the formula results in another window.
When you do this, the new window uses the default window settings, instead of your custom settings.
Then, if you close the original window first, and leave the new window open, the custom settings are forgotten.
If you have opened one or more new windows in a workbook, be careful when you’re closing them. You’ll see a window number, along with the file name, in each window’s title bar.
This short video shows the steps for setting and preserving your Excel window settings
To try the freeze pane tips on this page, get the Excel Freeze Rows and Columns sample file. The file is in xlsx format, and zipped. There are no macros in the workbook.
Last updated: September 19, 2021 3:29 PM