Excel Freeze Panes (Table of Contents)
Freeze Panes in Excel
Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet programs since the mid-90s. A part of this popularity is the support of features which enables fast analysis and dealing with multiple datasets at the same time. Excel has many features which support efficient analysis of data. One such feature which differentiates excel from many other spreadsheet programs is the ability to freeze panes while working.
Freezing panes makes it easier to compare data while working. This is especially useful when we deal with a large amount of data typical of enterprise datasets. The freeze panes features allow us to split the workbook into multiple parts, as well as freeze individual cells, rows or columns to make it easier for us to compare and analyze data.
- A Frozen top row to know which parameters we are looking at during a review:
Before Freezing Top Row.
After Freezing Top Row.
This shows how the same dataset looks like with a frozen row. This makes it easy to know which parameter we are referring to when we try to analyze data beyond the first few records in the workbook.
- A frozen first column to know which record we are evaluating for a particular parameter.
Before freezing First Column:
After freezing the first column:
The figure above compares the same dataset with and without the first column frozen in place. Freezing Panes also enable us to split the dataset into multiple parts to ease analysis:
The worksheet gets split into different parts which can be browsed independently. The Grey Lines in the middle of the worksheet indicate where the rows and columns have been frozen in place.
How to Freeze Panes in Excel?
The Freeze Panes feature is not very complicated to use if we know the database we are working with. In the next few paragraphs, we will learn how to use the features associated with freezing panes and using them for analysis.
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Here are a few examples of Freeze Panes in Excel:
Freeze Panes in Excel – Example #1
Freeze Top Row:
To do this, we have to perform the following steps:
- Select View from the Excel toolbar. Select Freeze Panes from the view options, this will open a dropdown menu where there are options to select the rows or columns which we want to freeze. Select Freeze Top Row, this will freeze the top row of the active worksheet in place and allow us to browse the rest of the data without disturbing the top row.
- A Tiny grey straight line will appear just below the 1st row. This means the first row is locked or frozen.
Freeze Panes in Excel – Example #2
Freeze First Column:
Next, we take a look at the next most commonly used function in the Freeze Pane feature, freezing the first column. This can be done using the following steps:
- Select Freeze Panes from the view options. From the dropdown menu, select Freeze First Column and this would freeze the first column in place, allowing us to browse the rest of the data without disturbing the first column.
A Tiny grey straight line will appear just below the 1st Column. This means the first column is locked or frozen.
Both of these features can be used simultaneously and make it easier for us to analyze data. As we have seen in the examples, knowing the basic structure of the table helps us decide what we want to freeze.
Freeze Panes in Excel – Example #3
Freeze first row and first column:
Here is an example of the practice table with the first row and first column frozen.
Now, this brings us to the most useful function in the freeze panes feature, which is freezing multiple columns and rows in place.
This is a function I like to use the most because it enables the user to freeze rows and unfreeze rows and columns based on any number of parameters depending on what the structure of the data in the worksheet is.
To freeze the first row and first column, we need to perform the following steps:
- Select Cell B2 from the worksheet
- Now, from the view options, select Freeze Panes. From the dropdown that appears, select the first option, Freeze Panes
These actions freeze the first row and first column in place.
Freeze Panes in Excel – Example #4
Freeze Multiple Columns:
We can use similar steps to freeze multiple rows and columns. The following steps illustrate this:
- Select any cell above which, the rows and columns have to stay in place:
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 from the previous illustration to freeze all rows and columns above and left of the selected cell.
The solid grey lines that appear indicate that the rows and columns on the top left of the sheet have been frozen. We can also choose either a whole row above which we need data to stay in place or a column.
Unfreezing rows and columns to their default state is very simple. We just have to go into the freeze panes dropdown and click on Unfreeze Panes as shown below:
Freeze panes in excel is an option which makes it very easy for us to compare data in large datasets. In fact, freezing panes in excel are so useful that there are software providers who provide additional features in based entirely on freezing panes in excel. One such example is the ability to freeze and unfreeze multiple worksheets and tables at once, which is provided as a product by many software vendors.
Things to Remember
- Freeze Panes does not work while we are editing something inside a cell, so care must be exercised while selecting the cell which we want as the boundary of the frozen data, never double click that cell before freezing the data.
- Freeze panes in excel is a default configuration which can freeze data to the left of the boundary column or above the boundary row depending on what we choose as a boundary. There are add ons available from various software providers to enhance these.
This has been a guide to Freeze Panes in Excel. Here we discussed How to Freeze Panes in Excel and Different methods to Freeze Panes in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –