The Table Header Row and Table Region

Headers can be used as a banner, display important metadata, highlight summary statistics, and more.

When working with spreadsheets, we often add general information to worksheets above our table rows. In, we call this region a header. Headers can be used as a banner, display important metadata, highlight summary statistics, and more. For instance, rows above this tabular region might contain information about a project name, owner, overall timeline, etc.

You can delineate the header and table regions of a worksheet with a table header row. Table header rows also define column names. Only rows below your table header row will be treated as table records (i.e., subject to sorting and filtering, rendering as cards in Kanban views, etc.).

The Header and Table Regions

By default, worksheets start as a single grid and are not divided into different regions. All cells are treated as part of the worksheet's table. However, you can choose to vertically divide your worksheet into a header region at the top and a table region at the bottom. The two regions are divided by the table header row; everything below the table header row is the table region, and everything above and including the table header row is the header region.


The Header Region

Entries in the header region are replicated across all Sheet views for that worksheet and are typically not where you would put data for your tables. Instead, use the header region for metadata. For instance, for persistent information like project names and the target end date in your project plan worksheet. Or for summary data, like the number of new prospects in your CRM worksheet or quarterly sales to date in your budget worksheet. 

The header region is all rows above and including the table header row. Because it persists across all views, changing it in one view also changes it in every other. Data validation does not apply to the cells in your header region. However, you can use data types to affect the formatting and appearance of header cells. Your header need not be one or two rows wide; any row can start your header and does not affect scrolling through the worksheet.

Keep your header visible at all times by freezing the table header row. Learn more about freezing rows here.

Header regions can also utilize aggregate functions on the rows in the table region to display aggregate data. Functions like SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE, MIN, or MAX can be helpful in highlighting key summary data. 

The Table Region

The table region is where you store data you want to work with. Table data can have sorts and filters applied. Data in the table region is uniquely identified by entries in the primary column, with column names coming from the table header row.

Kanban views only show rows in a worksheet's table region. Learn more about working with Kanban views here.

The Table Header Row

The table and header region are demarcated by a row called the Table Header Row. The table header row is the last row of the header and the row that determines column names. It is noted via a database icon in the row header region to the left of your worksheet:mceclip0.png. Like the primary column, the table header row defines data when expanding rows and relating rows.

Whenever a cell value changes in the table header row, the corresponding worksheet column name changes to match it. Similarly, whenever a worksheet column name is updated, the corresponding column cell in the table header row is updated with that name. Entries into merged cells only define the column name for the first column in the merged group. 

Only users with Owner or Manager permissions on a workbook can set the table header row. To set the table header row, right-click on the desired row and select "Set as Table Header". For more details, see our article on setting a row as the table header.

Read on to learn more about setting a row as the table header. For more information on working with rows in general, see our Introduction to Rows.