Free Excel Tutorial for Engineers : Hide and Unhide

When working with lengthy data in excel you may need to hide some rows or columns to avoid confusion. The hide function may also come handy when you want to hide rows or columns while printing the data. To hide a row or column in a worksheet select the required row / column, right click and select the hide option from the menu. The row will be hidden but the data can still be availed when you need to make some changes to it by using the unhide option. Excel also provides you the option to hide a worksheet by selecting the hide sheet option from the home ribbon’s format cells option. It should be noted that you cannot hide a single cell or a range in excel. You can only hide a row or a column or a complete worksheet. To unhide a single row select the neighboring rows of the hidden rows, right click and select the unhide option. To unhide all the hidden rows in a worksheet select the whole worksheet by clicking on the gray square at the top left corner of the worksheet area at the intersection of rows and columns and select the unhide option from the right click menu.


Freeze Panes: While working on a lengthy spreadsheet, after the visible area on the worksheet is filled you will not be able to view the title cells or the headings. This might lead to entering data in the wrong cells and thus creating confusion. Excel provides you an option to freeze columns on the left side and rows at the top of the worksheet. This keeps the reference text constant and makes data entry easier. To freeze panes select the cell around which you need to freeze the panes, go to the view ribbon, click on the freeze panes option and select the freeze panes option. The freeze panes option allows you to freeze only the top row or the first column.  


Split: Even after using the freeze panes option, while working on an excel worksheet it becomes very difficult to scroll through the whole document to refer some data at any other point of the worksheet and then again return to the cells which you were working on. Excel provides us with the split option to divide the worksheet vertically or horizontally to get multiple copies of the data on the screen, which makes referring to different sections of the worksheet at a time possible. Double click on the small box denoted by a dash at the top of the vertical scroll bar on the right side of the screen to split the worksheet horizontally, or double click on the similar box at the end of the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom right corner of the worksheet area. The different sections can be resized by selecting the bars and moving the cursor to the required position.