Fix top row (freeze) or the first column

Freeze first row:

It is common to have a list of data rows in excel, with the first row containing headers (meaning of the columns). It is quite possible that there are lots of records in this list, so that when you scroll down, the headers go out of sight.

For an example (refer to attached excel file, second sheet: ‘course result’), let’s say we have a list of students and their grades in a semester. The list is for the whole department and hence runs in to a few hundred records. When we scroll down the list, the top row (headers) goes out of sight. Ideally we would like the header to remain fixed as the top most row, while we scroll down the list. (This is still a simplistic example; imagine how critical it is to have this setup when there are several columns with similar data values)

To do this excel provides functionalities under the freeze panes commands in the view menu. To fix (freeze) first row, go to View in the ribbon -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze Top Row

Your first row of the sheet is now fixed.

So as you scroll down the page, the first row remains where it is.


Freeze First Column:

A similar requirement is to fix the first columns for viewing data that has several columns for every record (row). As an example (refer to attached excel file, second sheet: ‘Profit calculation’) Let’s say you are analyzing the business performance of a company for last several months. As you can see, the data runs into several columns and it is not possible to view all the data in a single go. A preferred solution will be to keep the left most column fixed(So that we know what the numbers are for), while we move to the right.

Just as shown in case of freezing first row, go to View in the ribbon -> Freeze Panes -> Freeze First Column

That’s it, the left most column of the sheet is now fixed, so when you move to the right of the sheet, the first column remains in its place.

This brings us to the end of this tutorial where we learnt about freezing top row/first column. One extension of this is to freeze a particular portion(say Top 3 rows, 2 leftmost columns or perhaps a combination of the same), we discuss the same in our next tutorial.