How to always display the same rows and columns in Microsoft Excel

If you are working with a long Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that has many columns you may find yourself having to go back to the top each time to remind yourself what a column contains.  Excel provides a feature that can always show the same rows and/or columns in addition to those being worked on and here we show you how.

22 August 2013 How to...  Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel - Article

If you are working with a long Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that has many columns you may find yourself having to go back to the top each time to remind yourself what a column contains.  Excel provides a feature that can always show the same rows and/or columns in addition to those being worked on and here we show you how.

The Split Box

After opening an Excel Workbook (Spreadsheet) if you look carefully above the scroll-bar on the left hand side and to the right of the scroll bar along the bottom you should see a small graphical marker called the "Split box" (highlighted in the screenshot below).  The "Split box" is used to set the rows and/or columns that will always show on the top or to the left of the work area of your spreadsheet.

Microsoft Excel Split Boxes

Displaying the same rows and/or columns

Having Excel display the same rows now matter where you go up and down is a straightforward process and is explained below - the same process can also be used for columns.  If you have Microsoft Excel 2003, the last part is slightly different (see the the section on Excel 2003 below).

To have the same rows always appear at the top of your worksheet

  1. Move your mouse point over the top split box - the point will change to show arrows up & down.
  2. Click and hold down the left mouse button.
  3. Drag the pointer downwards
  4. As you do a horizontal bar will appear across the worksheet showing you where the split will be.
  5. Drag the line between the rows to always appear and the remainder.
  6. Let go of the mouse pointer.
  7. The worksheet display should now be split.

To "freeze" the panes so that the top rows always visible

  1. Click the View tab.
  2. Click the Freeze Panes button.
  3. Click the "Freeze Panes" option.

Microsoft Excel 2010 Freeze Panes

Microsoft Excel 2003

If you have Microsoft Excel 2003 you will have menus rather than tabs so to freeze the panes.

  1. Click the Window menu.
  2. Click the Freeze Panes option.

Tags  2003 2007 2010 columns excel microsoft rows show

Corrections or suggestions