When working with huge data sets in a spreadsheet, you will often have to go downwards or to the right. However, while comparing or evaluating data, you may want to retain part of the data in your view at all times.
By maintaining the headers in place and making crucial data points accessible, this may make it much simpler to understand what each row and column represents. Fortunately, you can freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets. Continue reading to find out what this feature does, why you’d use it, and how to utilize it in Google Sheets for online and mobile.
Why Freeze Rows and Columns in Google Sheets?
Sheets’ freezing function enables you to pin certain rows or columns in your spreadsheet. This manner, they will always be visible as you browse around the spreadsheet.
If you deal with large spreadsheets that cover several pages, this functionality may be a lifesaver. If you do not use this function, the header cells will shift as you scroll down the spreadsheet, making it difficult to tell which cell is beneath which name.
For the same reasons that you’d want to freeze panes in Excel, you’d want to freeze rows and columns in Sheets. Here are several scenarios in which freezing a row or column may be advantageous:
- To retain headers in place in order to identify the important rows and columns of data.
- To compare key data points with other information in the spreadsheet.
- Keep a record of some of the important information in the spreadsheet.
Most of the time, you’ll just want to freeze the spreadsheet’s first row or column. If necessary, you may freeze several rows or columns as long as they are adjacent. There are a few things you should know about Google Sheets’ formatting tool. They are as follows:
- You cannot freeze individual rows or columns in the midst of the spreadsheet. These may only be selected if they are next to the first row or column. You may need to organize your columns first in Google Sheets.
- Rows and columns cannot be frozen at the same time. You’ll have to freeze the rows or columns one by one.
How to Freeze Rows or Columns in Google Sheets
In Google Sheets, you may freeze rows and columns in a variety of ways. Here’s how to go about it.
Using the Mouse
This is one of the simplest methods for freezing rows or columns in a spreadsheet. Simply click and drag a specified section of the spreadsheet.
Here are the steps you need to follow to do this:
- Place your mouse pointer in the upper-left corner of your spreadsheet. You’ll see an empty box next to the A and 1 that indicate the rows and columns.
- Two broad gray lines (bars) will be visible, one on the right side of the box and the other at the bottom. Hover the mouse over these lines. The cursor will become a palm symbol.
- If you wish to freeze rows or columns, left-click and hold the corresponding bar and drag it to the right or downwards.
For example, if you drag the horizontal bar down below row 1, row one will be frozen. If you drag it below row 2, rows 1 and 2 will be frozen, etc.
The same goes for columns. If you drag the gray bar to the right of column A, it will freeze column A. If the gray line is to the right of column B, columns A and B will both be frozen, etc. In the screenshot below, you can see that rows 1-3 are frozen and so are rows A-C.
Although using the mouse is a much easier way to freeze rows and columns in Google Sheets, there is another way to do this. Here are the steps you need to follow to use the options menu to freeze rows in Google Sheets:
- Open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets’ online version.
- In the spreadsheet’s top main bar, choose View.
- Now, in the resulting dropdown menu, choose Freeze.
- You may specify whether you want to freeze rows or columns, as well as the number of them. To freeze them, just click on the selected choice.
The dropdown menu only shows up to 2 rows and columns. If you want to freeze more than 2 rows and columns, click on the cell up to which you want to freeze first. Then click on View and then on Freeze. There, you can choose the Up to row X or Up to column X option from the menu.
This will lock the first X number of rows or columns, meaning they will stay visible when you scroll through the spreadsheet. You can’t freeze the rows and columns at once, so you have to do them one by one.
For Android and iOS
Here are the steps to follow in order to freeze rows or columns on mobile:
- Launch Google Sheets on your mobile device.
- Open the required spreadsheet there.
- Tap on the spreadsheet tab name (for example, Sheet1) to reveal the choices for editing your spreadsheet.
- A tiny window will appear at the bottom of the screen. Scroll down and use the up and down arrows to choose the number of rows and columns to freeze.
- Finally, close the window to apply the modifications.
How to Unfreeze Rows and Columns in Google Sheets
Now that we know how to freeze the cells, let’s look at how you can unfreeze the rows and columns in Google Sheets. This method is pretty much the exact opposite of the ones we used to freeze the cells. You can drag the thin gray lines back to their original position to unfreeze the rows and columns.
You may also utilize the freeze option in the view menu. Assume you wanted to remove the freeze from both rows and columns on your spreadsheet. Here are the actions you must take to do this:
- In the top main menu, click the View button.
- Now, in the resulting dropdown menu, choose Freeze.
- Click on the No Row option.
- Now, choose View once again.
- Click again on the Freeze option in the resulting dropdown menu.
- Click on No Column.
Wrapping Up Freezing Rows and Columns
The preceding tutorial demonstrated how to easily freeze and unfreeze rows and columns in Google Sheets. This essential ability will make working with spreadsheets much simpler for you. From now on, all of your fundamental spreadsheet navigation should be much easier.
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