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Brrrr… It’s Cold in the Freeze Pane Zone

Monday, November 15th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

Brrrr… It’s Cold in the Freeze Pane Zone

OK, so it’s not really that cold here, but the real question is, “What’s Freeze Pane?”

Well, to answer a question with questions, have you ever been frustrated while working in an MS Excel worksheet because you were so far down the columns that you no longer could see the column titles? Did you find yourself constantly scrolling up to make sure you were still entering data in the right place? Frustrating, time-consuming pain, isn’t it?

Freeze Pane is a very useful aspect of MS Excel and the answer to this particular problem.

Freeze Pane keeps designated rows and/or columns on the screen so that they’re always visible. You can choose to freeze whatever information you need for easy data entry or editing.

I can hear the burning question from here “How is this useful?” Well, remember those column headings you were continually scrolling up to read? These rows can be continually displayed using Freeze Pane no matter how far down the worksheet you are working.

Now that you know why it’s useful, let’s figure out how to make the “magic” happen.

The beginning is with a decision. (Isn’t it always?)

You need to decide which rows and/or columns you want continually displayed. Usually it’s row or column headings that you want to keep displayed. (You know, the information that tells you what data should be entered in each cell.)

Once the decision is made you need to select the cell just below the last row and one column to the right of the cells to be frozen.

Confusing? I know—so let’s see if we can clear it up.

If you want to continually display rows 1 through 3 then you would select a cell in row 4.

If you want to continually display column A then you would select a cell in column B.

When you want a combination you need to select a cell to the right of and below all rows and columns to be frozen.

For example: If I want rows 1 through 3 and columns A and B frozen then I will select cell C4. (C because it’s to the right of column B and 4 because it’s below row 3.)


Get it? Maybe not. I know it’s confusing but just continue along with me for a second or two here and you’ll see it’s not too bad. Once you know the whole process and give it a couple of tries you’ll get the hang of it.

(A quick hint—if you want only rows frozen then select a cell in column A. If you want only columns frozen then select the cell in row 1.)

Now that you’ve selected the cell the rest is easy. Go to the Window menu, Freeze Panes choice.


That’s it. You should now see solid lines running through your sheet showing where the panes are frozen. You should be able to scroll anywhere in the sheet and still see the selected columns and/or rows.

To reverse the process you need to go to the Window menu, Unfreeze Panes choice. (It’s in the same place as Freeze Panes, they switch out as needed.) Unfreeze can be done from anywhere in the worksheet so don’t worry about going to a particular cell.

Now the solid lines should be removed and the scrolling should be back to normal!

For those of you who are wondering—no this doesn’t affect the printed version of the worksheet, just what you’re seeing on the screen.

~ April

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