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: Floating Information in a Frozen Row.

Floating Information in a Frozen Row

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2015)

Bev has a worksheet with two header rows that are frozen and a column that is frozen. She can then scroll across the page adding data week by week. Names and subtotals are fixed on the left, week dates across the top. Above all this, in the first frozen row, Bev has a nice fancy title describing the workbook. She's looking for a way that she can have her title (the one in the first row) "float" so that when she scrolls across the page the title does not disappear off the edge of the visible worksheet.

The easiest way to do this is to make sure that the title is in cell A1. Since you have one column and two rows frozen, as you scroll to the right cell A1, containing the title, will always be visible on the screen.

If you want something a bit more fancy with your title, then you need to do a bit of work with text boxes and macros. If you place the title in a text box positioned in the first row, then you can use some macros to make sure that the text box is always centered on the screen in that row.

Let's assume, for the sake of this example, that the text box containing the title is called "TitleTextBox." As you scroll left and right in the worksheet, a macro could automatically check to make sure that the left edge of the text box is always equal to the left edge of the visible screen area. The following code needs to be added to the worksheet code for the worksheet containing the text box:

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
    Me.Shapes("TitleTextBox").Left = ActiveWindow.VisibleRange.Left
End Sub

This macro, because it is part of the worksheet code, will run every time the selection is changed in the worksheet. Thus, when you use the arrow keys to move left or right, use the tab keys, or select a cell with the mouse, the macro will run and make sure that the left edges of the text box and the visible area always match up.

When this macro won't kick in is when you scroll left and right by using the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. There is no "scroll event" that is triggered automatically when the scroll bars are used. Until a selection is made somewhere within the new visible range, thereby triggering the SelectionChange event, the textbox location will not be moved.

The only workaround to this limitation is to use Visual Basic's timer capabilities to update the textbox periodically. The following code does it every second, but you can adjust it to run less often, if desired. This code gets added to a regular VBA module:

Sub UpdateTB()
    If ActiveSheet.Name = "Sheet1" Then
        ActiveSheet.Shapes("TitleTextBox").Left = _
          ActiveWindow.VisibleRange.Left
    End If
    Application.OnTime Now + TimeSerial(0, 0, 1), "UpdateTB"
End Sub

And this gets added to the workbook object to start the timer when the workbook is first opened:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    UpdateTB
End Sub

If you use the timer-based approach to positioning the text box, you won't need to use the one that is tied to the SelectionChange event. The timer version simply adjusts the title after every interval.

There is an additional "downside" to either macro-based technique besides any sluggishness introduced by the code running: every time the code runs it clears the "undo stack." This means that you won't be able to "undo" changes that you make to the workbook if you need to.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3140) 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: Floating Information in a Frozen Row.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Highlighting Text Using the Keyboard Only

Highlighting text, using the Highlight tool, is a great way to mark up a document. Normally you need to use the toolbar ...

Discover More

Turning the Legend On and Off

When you create a chart in Excel, the program may automatically add a legend that explains the contents of the chart. In ...

Discover More

Understanding Font Styles

Fonts, by default, come with one or more styles that define variations of how that font is displayed in your document. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Saving Changes in the Personal Workbook

The Personal workbook is a special place used to store information and macros that you can access from all the other ...

Discover More

Dividing Values

When working with large numbers, you may need a way to quickly divide a range of those numbers by a specific value. ...

Discover More

Embedding Your Phone Number in a Workbook

Want to provide a bit of contact information in a workbook? A great place to do it (out of sight, but not inaccessible) ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.