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 July 19, 2014)


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. ...


Breaking Lines in E-mail

If you are creating an e-mail in Word, or are creating text that you will paste into an e-mail document, you may want to ...

Discover More

Using Dynamic Chart Titles

Want the title of your chart to change based upon what is placed in a worksheet cell? It's easy; just add a formula to ...

Discover More

Making VLOOKUP Case Sensitive

The VLOOKUP function, like other lookup functions in Excel, is not case sensitive. In other words, it doesn't matter ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

How Many Rows and Columns Have I Selected?

Want a quick way to tell how may rows and columns you've selected? Here's what I do when I need to know that information.

Discover More

Deleting Everything Up to a Character Sequence

Sometimes you have too much information in a cell and you need to "pare down" what is there to get to the info you really ...

Discover More

Finding Unused Names

After months or years of naming things (such as cell ranges), you may find your workbook cluttered with a bunch of names ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five less than 8?

2014-09-11 13:44:38


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!

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.