With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Displaying Row and Column Labels.
When you develop a worksheet you often add a row or two of labels at the top of each column, and perhaps a column of labels to the left of each row. If your worksheet becomes quite large, it is not unusual for the row and column labels to scroll off the screen so that you can no longer see them.
To keep row and column labels visible, consider "freezing" the rows and columns in which the labels are located. For instance, you could easily freeze the first four rows of a worksheet along with the first column. Then, when you scroll the worksheet the rows and columns will remain on the screen—only the unfrozen portion of the screen will scroll.
You specify what rows and columns you want to freeze by selecting the cell immediately below and to the right of the area to be frozen. For instance, if you want to freeze rows 1 through 4 and column A, you would select the cell at B5. Then, to freeze the rows and columns, you select Freeze Panes from the Window menu. Excel places a thicker black line above and to the left of the current cell to indicate the rows and columns frozen.
If you no longer need to use the frozen panes, simply choose Unfreeze Panes from the Window menu.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2591) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Displaying Row and Column Labels.
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