Add Freeze Panes Command to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar

One of the things I frequently do is Freeze Panes in my worksheet. This command locks data into place, like column headings, row headings, or both. So when scrolling down (or to the right) I know what type of data I’m looking at because the headings are still visible.

[UPDATE: There’s a command hidden from the Ribbon that allows you to Freeze Panes with one-click. Read my new post.]

Same Command, More Clicks

Freezing Panes was easy when using Excel 2003. Just two clicks on the menu and the panes were frozen.

Then Excel 2007 introduced the Ribbon, which I still haven’t forgiven them for, and suddenly it became much harder to Freeze Panes. Three clicks. That doesn’t sound like a big deal; I mean it’s just one extra click, right?

But the View tab is visible now on the Ribbon, yet the most common commands are located on the Home tab, which means the next time you use the menu there’s an extra click to get back to the Home tab. Another click, more aggravation.

Luckily, the Quick Access Toolbar is available in Excel 2007 and 2010 and allows me to return to two-click functionality for Freezing Panes. It’s really easy to add a command to the Quick Access Toolbar. Just right-click on the command and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar or Add Gallery to Quick Access Toolbar.

Clicking the Freeze Panes icon shows you three options:

  • Freeze Panes
  • Freeze Top Row
  • Freeze First Column

Selecting Freeze Panes will freeze the row and column above and to the left of the active cell. The last two selections are self explanatory and don’t rely on the active cell location to freeze the top row or first column.

If any of these three commands have been activated, Freeze Panes changes to Unfreeze Panes.

Excel 2003 and Excel 2008:mac have the Freeze Panes command on the View menu. The Mac version requires Normal View before the Freeze Panes command is available. Note: The default worksheet View for Excel 2008:mac is Page Layout.

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4 thoughts on “Add Freeze Panes Command to the Excel Quick Access Toolbar

  1. Jerry Enoch

    Very helpful. I had added Freeze Panes (by a clumsier method), and was perplexed about how to add Unfreeze Panes. I didn’t know that Freeze Panes would toggle functionality to Unfreeze Panes (and who knows if I ever would have stumbled upon that!)

  2. Nimaj

    Have a new laptop windows 7 but it doesn`t have the view and data tabs in excel. Unable to freeze rows and columns. Looked all over the internet for help without assistance.

    1. Gregory

      If you have Excel 2010 (for Windows) right click on one of the Ribbon tabs, (like Home or Insert) and choose Customize the Ribbon from the pop-up menu. Then in the right-hand pane of the Excel Options dialog box, make sure the View and Data tabs are checked.

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