How to Lock Column Headers on Microsoft Excel

By Jennifer Loucks

Working on a large spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel can sometimes be difficult to maneuver when important columns do not display as you move throughout the spreadsheet. Locking header or title columns allows you keep them visible while you scroll through the spreadsheet. Locking columns in Excel is an option called freezing panes. This toll is available for locking rows by following the same steps to lock a column, except you highlight the desired row.

Step 1

Open a worksheet in Microsoft Excel. Add row and column header text as desired.

Step 2

Click on the column letter on the right side of the column you want locked. This highlights the entire column. Highlight a group of columns by clicking on the first column and dragging the mouse, with the left button depressed, across the desired columns to highlight.

Step 3

Click on the "View" tab if using Microsoft Excel 2007. Under the Window group item in the menu, click on the arrow for "Freeze Panes." Select the option to "Freeze First Column" to lock only the one column highlighted. Select the option to "Freeze Panes" if you want to freeze a group of panes at one time.

Step 4

Click on the "Window" menu if using Microsoft Excel 2003 and select "Freeze Panes" to lock one or a group of columns.

Step 5

Repeat the process listed in steps 1 through 4 to unlock the column by selecting "Unfreeze Panes."