Using Excel Freeze Panes

Freeze panes are a great way to keep the data you need readily available instead of wasting time scrolling through rows and columns of data. Hopefully, this quick tip will help you become more efficient when working in Excel.

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How to use Excel Freeze Panes video transcript:

Have you ever had trouble keeping track of what data you were looking at in an Excel spreadsheet because the spreadsheet was just too big?

In this Quick Tip, we will learn how to use the Freeze Panes function for locking row and column headings for while scrolling through data.

Here’s a document I found on the internet. I’m going to be using the Income Statement worksheet for this example.
Let’s learn how to lock these headings for scrolling. Currently, if I were to scroll over and down I’d have no idea what these numbers mean.

So let’s go back up to the headings and select this cell here right below the row heading we want to be locked and the left heading we want to be locked. I’ll show you why in a moment.

Then go to the View tab under the Window section and click on Freeze Panes.

We could just freeze the top row … or just freeze the first column … But we want to choose Freeze Panes - based on the current selection
This icon makes it easy to remember what box we need to select as it is just a mini representation of our table. Click Freeze Panes.

Now as I scroll through this document, we can see that our headings are locked.

We can unfreeze these headings by going back to the Freeze Panes button and selecting Unfreeze Panes.

I also want to point out another feature that is similar. It’s the Split function.

Select the same cell we selected before and then go back up to the View tab under the Window section and click on Split.

Initially, this looks like the same thing, but it actually has a little more built into it.

Each of these sections now becomes a separate scroll window of their own, representing the same data. For example. If I scroll up in this window, I see my row heading, and if I scroll down in this top window I see data where my heading would be. It’s the same income statement in four different windows.

You can also move these window borders by putting your cursor on them and resizing them.

To remove them simply go back up to the Window section and unselect Split.

Excel doesn’t allow you to use both of these functions at the same time so for this worksheet, I’d probably stick with Freeze Panes as it’s simpler and more relevant to this particular situation.

Now you know how to lock row and column headings so you can view them in a large Excel worksheet no matter where you are in the data.