Freezing Panes and View Options

In Excel freeze panes to compare information, and use view options in Excel to more easily read Excel spreadsheets.

Introduction

Video: Freezing Panes and View Options

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Whenever you're working with a lot of data, it can be difficult to compare information in your workbook. Fortunately, Excel includes several tools that make it easier to view content from different parts of your workbook at the same time, such as the ability to freeze panes and split your worksheet.

Optional: Download our practice workbook.

To freeze rows:

You may want to see certain rows or columns all the time in your worksheet, especially header cells. By freezing rows or columns in place, you'll be able to scroll through your content while continuing to view the frozen cells.

  1. Select the row below the row(s) you want to freeze. In our example, we want to freeze rows 1 and 2, so we'll select row 3.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Selecting row 3
  2. Click the View tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Select the Freeze Panes command, then choose Freeze Panes from the drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking Freeze Panes
  4. The rows will be frozen in place, as indicated by the gray line. You can scroll down the worksheet while continuing to view the frozen rows at the top. In our example, we've scrolled down to row 18.


    Screenshot of Excel 2013The frozen rows

To freeze columns:

  1. Select the column to the right of the column(s) you want to freeze. In our example, we want to freeze column A, so we'll select column B.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Selecting column B
  2. Click the View tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Select the Freeze Panes command, then choose Freeze Panes from the drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking Freeze Panes
  4. The column will be frozen in place, as indicated by the gray line. You can scroll across the worksheet while continuing to view the frozen column on the left. In our example, we've scrolled across to column E.


    Screenshot of Excel 2013The frozen column

To unfreeze rows or columns, click the Freeze Panes command, then select Unfreeze Panes from the drop-down menu.

Screenshot of Excel 2013Unfreezing a row

If you only need to freeze the top row (row 1) or first column (column A) in the worksheet, you can simply select Freeze Top Row or Freeze First Column from the drop-down menu.

Screenshot of Excel 2013Freezing only the top row of a workbook

Other view options

If your workbook contains a lot of content, it can sometimes be difficult to compare different sections. Excel includes additional options to make your workbooks easier to view and compare. For example, you can choose to open a new window for your workbook or split a worksheet into separate panes.

To open a new window for the current workbook:

Excel allows you to open multiple windows for a single workbook at the same time. In our example, we'll use this feature to compare two different worksheets from the same workbook.

  1. Click the View tab on the Ribbon, then select the New Window command.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking the New Window command
  2. A new window for the workbook will appear.


    Screenshot of Excel 2013The same workbook open in two separate windows
  3. You can now compare different worksheets from the same workbook across windows. In our example, we'll select the 2013 Sales Detailed View worksheet to compare the 2012 and 2013 sales.


    Screenshot of Excel 2013Selecting a worksheet in a new window

If you have several windows open at the same time, you can use the Arrange All command to rearrange them quickly.

Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking Arrange All

To split a worksheet:

Sometimes you may want to compare different sections of the same workbook without creating a new window. The Split command allows you to divide the worksheet into multiple panes that scroll separately.

  1. Select the cell where you want to split the worksheet. In our example, we'll select cell C7.


    Screenshot of Excel 2013Selecting cell C7
  2. Click the View tab on the Ribbon, then select the Split command.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking the Split command
  3. The workbook will be split into different panes. You can scroll through each pane separately using the scroll bars, allowing you to compare different sections of the workbook.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013The split worksheet

After creating a split, you can click and drag the vertical and horizontal dividers to change the size of each section.

To remove the split, click the Split command again.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Excel workbook. If you want, you can use our practice workbook.
  2. Try freezing a row or column in place. If you are using the example, freeze the top two rows (rows 1 and 2).
  3. Try opening a new window for your workbook.
  4. Use the Split command to split your worksheet into multiple panes.