All columns in an Excel spreadsheet automatically have a label. This is the alphabetic progression you see running across the top of the cells in the spreadsheet. However, for better presentation, it is recommended to put titles on your columns in tables of data. This enables the consumer of the data understand the precise meaning of the data in the cells of the spreadsheet. Column titles are often used in conjunction with row titles to create a grid of data.
Designate row 1 as the title row for the columns in your table. Type the headings of each column in the cells of this row.
Design the layout of the columns. The default column width may not be wide enough for the text in each title. You may decide to have each cell the same width, or vary the column widths. However, it is important that all the title is showing.
Place the mouse pointer over the join between a column and its right hand neighbour. Press the left mouse button and drag the border to the right to widen that cell.
Create a table format to surround the headers. This step enables you to inform Excel that the first row in the sheet is a header row. It will then treat that row differently to the other rows. Even if you don’t yet have any data in the columns of your table, click in cell A1, hold down the left mouse button and drag the frame to include all the column that have titles and then also some more rows. Let go of the mouse button.
Click on the “Home” tab in the menu bar and then click on “Format as Table” in the “Styles” section of the menu. Click on any one of the possible formats.
Notice the appearance of a message window. This shows a range of cells for the data of the table. Do not alter this range, but click the “My table has headers” check box. Click “OK” to close the input box. Excel will format the table according to the template you chose and convert each column title into a pick list. You will now be able to sort the data by selecting from one of these pick lists.
Freeze the titles
Click anywhere inside your table to make sure the current worksheet is active. This task will enable you to prevent the title row from scrolling. IF you have more than one screen-full of data, the titles will not move as you scroll through the lower rows.
Press the “View” tab on the menu bar. Look for the “Window” section on this tab.
Click the arrow next to the option to “Freeze Panes.” Select the “Freeze Top Row” option. Press the down arrow in the spread sheet to see all lower columns scroll while the title column remains fixed.
- Microsoft Corporation