Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Displaying Row and Column Labels.

Displaying Row and Column Labels

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2018)

4

When you develop a worksheet you often add a row or two of labels at the top of each column, and perhaps a column of labels to the left of each row. If your worksheet becomes quite large, it is not unusual for the row and column labels to scroll off the screen so that you can no longer see them.

To keep row and column labels visible, consider "freezing" the rows and columns in which the labels are located. For instance, you could easily freeze the first four rows of a worksheet along with the first column. Then, when you scroll the worksheet the rows and columns will remain on the screen—only the unfrozen portion of the screen will scroll.

You specify what rows and columns you want to freeze by selecting the cell immediately below and to the right of the area to be frozen. For instance, if you want to freeze rows 1 through 4 and column A, you would select the cell at B5. Then, to freeze the rows and columns, you display the View tab of the ribbon, click Freeze Panes in the Window group, and then click Freeze Panes again. Excel places a thicker black line above and to the left of the current cell to indicate the rows and columns frozen.

If you no longer need to use the frozen panes, simply display the View tab of the ribbon, click Freeze Panes in the Window group, and then click Unfreeze Panes.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9732) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Displaying Row and Column Labels.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 3 + 4?

2018-04-20 08:16:54

Daniel T. Katchen

What I really would like to do, is to by default have the top row "frozen" when I open a new spreadsheet/worksheet. One can save an .xltm file with this setting activated, but it's not obvious where the file has to be saved, and in our company's environment it stops working again after a short time.

Is there no other way to get this to default? (My workaround is a "hot-key" that sets the top row to be frozen.)


2018-04-20 07:18:56

Ruthie A. Ward

@Allen Poe: I get around the too many rows by grouping and hiding the rows I don't want to see after I freeze them.


2018-04-19 16:14:32

Allan Poe

Allen,
I found no way to freeze only one row below the top row.
If I select any number of rows to freeze, it always freezes the last row selected and all rows above.
Is there any way to freeze a single row below the top row?


2014-09-11 13:44:38

JJ

thanks for all your tips, I am pretty much a computer dummy and I look up things all the time here, now I know why that cell was highlighted in the freeze panes ribbon. Dah!


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