Join Bob Flisser for an in-depth discussion in this video Freezing panes, part of Excel 2010 Essential Training.
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When you have a large worksheet, you will want to be able to scroll all over and still see your column and row headers. That's what freezing panes is all about. Let's take a look at this large worksheet. Scroll down. I will just roll my mouse wheel down. And I can see my data but I can't really see any of the headers. And what if we scroll to the right? Maybe let's scroll up first, and now we can't see what's happening in the first column. And if we scroll to the right and scroll down, now we are looking at data and we can't really tell what we are looking at. If you are in a view like this, you can just press Ctrl+Home and then you can always get back up to Cell A1.
So we are back on the starting position. Well, when you have this large worksheet, here is where freezing panes comes into play. Now take a look over here on the right side. Now here is your vertical scrollbar. On top of the vertical scrollbar, you see this little bar here? Put your mouse-pointer over it and your mouse- pointer becomes a two-headed up and down arrow. Click and drag down so this gray line is resting just underneath Row 4 and let go. Now what you could do is you could click on the top part and scroll this independently from the bottom pane.
That's okay but that could get a little confusing when your screen starts looking like this. So here is what we do. Click the View tab, and over here choose Freeze Panes and from the fly-out choose Freeze Panes. So what that does is it kind of locks the top pane in place so that you can scroll the bottom and not lose sight of what your column headers are. Well, that's great but it still doesn't fix the problem of what happens when we scroll to the right. Let's scroll a little back here. We can split the screen not just top and bottom, we can also split it left and right, but before we do that, we have to unfreeze the panes.
So back in the View tab, let's go to Freeze Panes and choose Unfreeze Panes. Down here in the lower right corner, also kind of below the vertical scrollbar and on the right side of the horizontal scrollbar, there is another one of those little bars there. Put your mouse pointer on it and you get a two-headed left and right arrow and click and drag this gray bar so that it's resting between Column A and Column B. And again, back in the View tab, go to Freeze Panes, and again choose Freeze Panes. Now you can scroll up and down and not lose sight of your column headers and you can also scroll to the right and not lose track of your first column.
Now keep in mind when you freeze the panes, what you print will not be what you see on the screen. You will print the regular worksheet like you would see it normally. You would not see the panes split like this. This is only for your convenience to navigate through the worksheet. So let's say we want to get back to normal. We don't want the panes split anymore. Back here on the View tab, click Split, and that unsplits because it's highlighted. It's no longer highlighted again and now we have the worksheet like it was originally and you can see it's scrolling up, down, left and right.
So that's a convenience that you might want to use whenever you have a very large worksheet.
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