Freeze or lock rows and columns

To keep an area of a worksheet visible while you scroll to another area of the worksheet, you can either lock specific rows or columns in one area by freezing panes (pane: A portion of the document window bounded by and separated from other portions by vertical or horizontal bars.), or create multiple worksheet areas that can scroll separately from each other by splitting panes.

For information on SCROLL LOCK, see Turn off Scroll Lock. For information on how to include row and column headings on every printed page of a worksheet, see Print row and column headings on every printed page. For information on worksheet protection, see Protect worksheet or workbook elements.

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Freezing versus splitting rows and columns

When you freeze panes, Microsoft Excel keeps specific rows or columns visible when you scroll in the worksheet. For example, if the first row in your spreadsheet contains labels, you might freeze that row to make sure that the column labels remain visible as you scroll down in your spreadsheet.


Worksheet window with row 1 frozen

A solid line under row 1 indicates that the row is frozen to keep column labels in place when you scroll.

When you split panes, Excel creates either two or four separate worksheet areas that you can scroll within, while rows or columns in the non-scrolled area remain visible.

Worksheet with split panes

This worksheet has been split into four areas. Notice that each area contains a separate view of the same data.

Think of the worksheet areas as multiple views of your worksheet. If you make a change in one worksheet area, those changes will automatically be reflected in the other worksheet area(s). Splitting panes is useful when you want to see different parts of a large spreadsheet at the same time.

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Freeze panes to lock specific rows or columns

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Before you choose to freeze panes in a worksheet, it’s important to consider the following:

  • You can freeze rows at the top and columns on the left side of the worksheet only. You cannot freeze rows and columns in the middle of the worksheet.
  • The Freeze Panes command is not available when you are in cell editing mode or when a worksheet is protected. To cancel cell editing mode, press ENTER or ESC. For information about how to remove protection from a worksheet, see Protect worksheet or workbook elements.

You can choose to freeze just the top row of your worksheet, just the left column of your worksheet, or multiple rows and columns simultaneously. For example, if you freeze row 1, and then decide to freeze column A, row 1 will no longer be frozen. If you want to freeze both rows and columns at the same time, you must choose to freeze them at the same time.

  1. On the worksheet, do one of the following:
  • To lock rows, select the row below the row or rows that you want to keep visible when you scroll.
  • To lock columns, select the column to the right of the column or columns that you want to keep visible when you scroll.
  • To lock both rows and columns, click the cell below and to the right of the rows and columns that you want to keep visible when you scroll.

ShowHow to select cells, ranges, rows, or columns

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range, press F8 (instead of holding down SHIFT), and then extend the selection by using the arrow keys. To stop extending the selection, press F8 again.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells, and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection. To stop adding cells or ranges to the selection, press SHIFT+F8 again.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet showing row heading and column heading

Callout 1 Row heading
Callout 2 Column heading

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
The first or last cell in a row or column Select a cell in the row or column, and then press CTRL+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).
The first or last cell on a worksheet or in an Excel table

Press CTRL+HOME to select the first cell on the worksheet or in an Excel table.

Press CTRL+END to select the last cell on the worksheet or in an Excel table that contains data or formatting.

Cells to the last cell that contains data on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

 Tip   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

  1. On the View tab, in the Window group, click the arrow below Freeze Panes.

Windows group on the View tab

  1. Do one of the following:
  • To lock one row only, click Freeze Top Row.
  • To lock one column only, click Freeze First Column.
  • To lock more than one row or column, or to lock both rows and columns at the same time, click Freeze Panes.

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Unfreeze panes

  1. On the View tab, in the Window group, click the arrow below Freeze Panes.

Windows group on the View tab

  1. Click Unfreeze Panes.

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Split panes to lock rows or columns in separate worksheet areas

 Note   You cannot split panes and freeze panes at the same time. When you freeze panes within a split pane, all rows above and columns to the left of the selected cell will be frozen and the split bar will be removed.

  1. To split panes, point to the split box at the top of the vertical scroll bar or at the right end of the horizontal scroll bar.

Split box

  1. When the pointer changes to a split pointer Split pointer or Resize pointer (double-headed arrow), drag the split box down or to the left to the position that you want.
  2. To remove the split, double-click any part of the split bar that divides the panes.

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Unsplit panes

  • To restore a window that has been split into two scrollable areas, double-click any part of the split bar that divides the panes.
  • To remove all split panes at once, in the Window group, click Split.

Windows group on the View tab

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Applies to:
Excel 2010