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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2015)
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.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!
Want to establish a "bottom limit" on what dates can be entered in a cell? This tip presents two different ways you can limit ...Discover More
Excel places limits on how much information you can enter into a cell and how much of that information it will display. This ...Discover More
Need to limit the number of characters that can be entered into a cell? One easy way to do it is through the use of Data ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.