Microsoft Excel

Freeze a Column in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel offers users a helpful function known as Freeze PanesFreeze Panes allows users to freeze a column in place so that he/she can scroll through other columns while keeping the frozen ones in place.

This feature can be especially helpful for users who have a spreadsheet that is more horizontally than vertically oriented.  Freeze Panes allows the user to freeze a column and scroll through the rest while the frozen column remains in the same place.

For our example, we will be working with a spreadsheet that lists Type in the first column, and then has further classifications about that Type in the succeeding rows.

Before we begin, make sure you are not viewing your Excel file in Page Layout view.  Freeze Panes will not work in Page Layout view.  Use Normal view.

From Normal view, select the first cell in column B, cell B1.  Once you have selected cell B1, click Window > Freeze Panes.  A bar will appear between Column A and Column B.  By selecting cell B1 and then choosing Freeze Panes, you have frozen all the cells in Column A.

It will look like this:

In the screenshot, you can see that the line dividing Column A from Column B is darker than the other lines between the other columns.  That is because this line marks off the frozen cells on the left from the unfrozen cells on the right.

Now try scrolling your mouse to the right.

You will notice that all of the columns and their headings move with your mouse, except for the contents of Column A, which in our example is Type, A, and B.

Freeze panes can be applied to any column.  However, its most common use will be doing what we have done in this tutorial.  If you have many columns with data, you can scroll through them and know exactly what they refer back to at the beginning of the spreadsheet.

This same principle can be applied to rows, which is covered in another tutorial.