Freezing Columns

Freezing a column locks that column – and all columns to the left of it – on your screen when you scroll horizontally.

For large worksheets, you may wish to visually freeze a column—to lock it into place so that it stays on your screen even as you scroll. Freezing a column locks that column, and all columns to the left of it, on your screen when you scroll horizontally (left and right).

You may want to freeze important columns like task names in a project plan, candidates in an interview tracker, or unique identifiers in analytics worksheets. Freezing columns can be especially helpful when you're working in a worksheet with many columns.

How to Freeze and Unfreeze a Column

You can access freeze options from the document menu. Open the document menu and navigate to View > Freeze to open a submenu from which you can freeze "No columns," "1 column," "2 columns," or "Up to current (selected) column".

How to Access the Document Menu

To access the document menu,

  1. Open the document dropdown by clicking the arrow to the right of the document name
  2. Select "Menu..." from the dropdown

To unfreeze your columns, navigate back to the submenu and select "No columns".

Alternatively, you can freeze up to and including a selected column by right clicking on the column header or clicking the downward arrow next to the column name and selecting "Freeze column" from the dropdown. When you need to unfreeze the column, navigate back to the column dropdown menu and select "Unfreeze column".

Limitations on Freezing Columns

Because frozen columns can not be horizontally scrolled away, there is a limit to how far to the right you can freeze columns. To prevent you from accidentally freezing so many columns that you cannot scroll past the first few frozen columns, an error will appear if you try to freeze too many columns.

If you get this error, try moving the desired column to one of the early column positions (like column A or B) and then freezing from there.

Looking to do more with your columns? Read on to learn about hiding columns to remove them from a view or locking columns to prevent any changes from being made to them.