How can I create a fixed column header in Google Spreadsheet like the first sheet?

3 Answers 3


Up to ten rows of each sheet can be designated as the column header. This is called freezing rows. Every sheet has a horizontal guideline which separates header rows from the rest of the sheet. This guideline has a gray handle. The gray handle initially appears above row “1” on the left hand side of the sheet. To set the number of rows in the column header, drag the handle up or down using the mouse.

Gray handle

After drag

Or you can set the number of rows using the menu option ViewFreeze Rows.

There is also a vertical guideline which works in a very similar manner, and lets you freeze as many as five columns as row labels.

When you create a blank document, it comes with an initial sheet. This sheet does not have a column header.¹ Additional sheets, if you create them, are the same: they do not have column headers to begin with.

The Android app imposes a limitation on this feature. While it does show frozen row and column headers properly, it does not let you control which rows or columns are frozen. You need to use a PC based browser to change your row and column headers.


  1. When the question was originally asked, the first sheet in a new untitled spreadsheet had one header row: row 1. This is no longer so. But it is why the question was asked the way it was.
  • 7
    Hover over the blue (dashed) line ....at the top left corner..wait for the hand shaped cursor ..then drag it down.
    – so_mv
    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:36
  • 1
    UPDATE: the dashed line may appear gray now, but turns blue when hovering.
    – Nilloc
    May 8, 2013 at 17:43
  • When I create a new spreadsheet it doesn't default to one header row, so I'm assuming that's a change from before. But, otherwise, this and the comments are still correct. I.e. There's a horizontal/vertical dashed gray line at the top-left corner, and when you hover over one it turns blue and the cursor changes to a hand. The other answer about "Freeze rows" is an alternative way to do this through the menu. Nov 17, 2013 at 22:55
  • @MichaelKrebs Thanks for the update. I have changed the answer to reflect changes in the app, and added information about the Android app as well.
    – MetaEd
    Feb 24, 2014 at 16:39
  1. Open Spreadsheet
  2. Click on View from the menu
  3. Click on Freeze rows from the dropdown menu
  4. Choose how many rows you want to freeze.

Frozen row(s) will stay at the top of the sheet when viewing other portions of it.

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In the new Google Sheets some elements related to freeze/unfreeze columns & rows were updated, while others remain the same. I.E.

  1. The ten rows limit was removed.

  2. The gray handle, mentioned in the accepted answer is still there.

New View > Freeze... menu

Freeze or unfreeze columns & rows - Docs Editors Help

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