FAQ: Locking/Freezing Heading Rows in OpenOffice Calc [and Freezing Columns, too!]

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Let’s say you have a number of rows of data, and you need to be able to scroll or search up and down them, but whenever you do, you lose sight of the headings.

These instructions work for Calc in both OpenOffice.org AND NeoOffice.

Many rows of data to be viewed in your window

In order to freeze the header rows so that they don’t move and you can scroll up and down, simply click on the first cell in the row immediately below the row(s) you want to freeze. In this example, I would click on cell A2 in row 2, as I want to freeze the header row – row 1.

Click on the cell in column A in the row BELOW the header

From the menu, select Window >> Freeze

You will then see that you can scroll up and down, but the header row will remain where it is.

In the example below, I have scrolled down to show Row 40. Rows 2-39 are hidden, but you can still see the header row (row 1).

Rows 2-39 are not visible

Unfreeze / Unlock

To unfreeze, just select Window >> Freeze (you will notice that there is a tick next to Freeze – clicking on this will remove it).

Window >> Freeze

Freeze / Lock Columns and Cells

You can use this method to freeze both columns and rows.

For example, let’s say you want Row 1, and Column A to be frozen.

Click on cell B2 (one row immediately below the rows to be frozen, and one column immediately to the right of the column to be frozen).

Click on cell B2

Again, from the menu select Window >> Freeze

Select Window >> Freeze

And you will notice that the first column (A) and the first Row (1) do not move, allowing you to scroll up and down, left and right.

The first row and column is now frozen.

To unfreeze, simple select Window >> Freeze

Window >> Freeze

The tick will be removed, and your spreadsheet will return to normal.

Additional Resources


  1. If this function is supposed to ‘freeze’ the row, why does the header row keep moving when I sort, then?

  2. Nicole Bongard says:

    Yay! Thank you! I couldn’t find this tutorial anywhere, to freeze rows AND columns. Awesome.

  3. thankx a lot 😀

  4. Thanks!

  5. Just great, this just solve my problems even with when I want to sort all cells.

  6. Nice. Thanks. I just couldn’t figure that out on my own. Though I still don’t see the logic in it, why can’t you freeze what you select, why the line above freezes. :S

    • Ng – sometimes the logic is different for us all, I guess. I hope you have more success with the logic of it moving forward. :)

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