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Final Friday Fix: July Challenge

29 July 2016

On the final Friday of each month, we’re going to set Excel for you to puzzle over so that you can get your “Excel fix”. Challenge your office colleagues to see who can solve the puzzle quickest. There’s no prizes at this stage, you’re playing for bragging rights only!

Freezing and Unfreezing Panes

In Excel, you can freeze rows and columns so that when you scroll, those panes stay in place. This can be handy for header sections so that you can see your in-sheet row and column headers no matter where you scroll to in the spreadsheet. In Excel 2007 and later, freezing and unfreezing rows and columns is fairly straightforward.

Before I explain how simple it is, consider cell C4 (a rather explosive cell):

This is the cell to select if you want to freeze rows 1:3 and columns A and B. Essentially, you have to select a cell and Excel will freeze all rows visible above this cell and columns visible to the left of this cell. Note that the rows and columns must be on-sheet:

In this example, cell K9 (a dog of a cell) has been selected. You can see that row 7 and column I have been hidden. If these elements were to be unhidden, they would show, but rows 1:5 and columns A:G would remain off-sheet.

To freeze panes on a worksheet, simply select your cell accordingly. Then, go to the ‘View’ tab in the Ribbon, click on the ‘Freeze Panes’ button in the ‘Window’ group and then click ‘Freeze Panes’ from the resulting drop down menu. The keyboard shortcut is even simpler: ALT + W + F + F + ENTER. Simple!

To unfreeze, simply repeat the process (‘Freeze Panes’ will be replaced by ‘Unfreeze Panes’ in the drop-down menu). In this case, it doesn’t matter which cell is selected.

While in some versions of Excel you can select multiple worksheets and appear to freeze panes, this process will only work on the first sheet selected. If you need to have multiple sheets selected similarly, it may be simpler to create a worksheet with frozen panes and then copy it.

The Challenge

Assuming you have Excel 2007 or later, simply unfreeze the panes on the only worksheet in the attached Excel workbook:

Sound easy? Try it. We’ll publish our suggested solution in Monday’s blog. Have a great weekend!