Monday, February 14, 2011

Using the Freeze Panes Feature of Microsoft Excel for Easier to Use Spreadsheets

Have you noticed how when you have a lot of data to input into a spreadsheet, your column headings disappear off the top of your screen?
There is a simple way around this in Microsoft Excel. It is the Freeze Panes feature.

Go to the View tab and toward the middle you will see Freeze Panes. Mouse over the button and the following choices will appear:

If your column headings are in the top row then you can simply use the Freeze Top Row option, or if you want to freeze the first column instead there is an option for that too. To freeze a custom set of rows or columns simply select the area you want to freeze first, then hit the first option "Freeze Panes".
Now when you scroll or add new rows you will always know where to put your new data!

When you are done with this setup you can reverse the process and put Excel back into its normal state by UNfreezing the panes:


Freezing panes is one of those "obvious when you know how" features that come in real handy when you know it is there!

About the author

Yoav Ezer co-authors the technology and productivity blog Codswallop. He is also the CEO of a company that produces PDF to Excel conversion software.
For more Excel tips from Yoav, join him on Facebook or Twitter


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