13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2012 9:00 PM by Roger D1968
John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

In deciding which Office products to buy for my Ipad, I would like to ask if the Apple spreadsheet app "Numbers" has the following features, that have long been in Excel.


1. Freeze panes


2. Hide and unhide columns


3. autofit row height.


Please let me know if all three column and row formatting features mentioned above are possible with Apple "Numbers". (If not, you should add those features ASAP.)


Thank you.

  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)



    No. Yes. Yes.


    Don't bother telling us, the participants in this forum, what to do ASAP regarding any app. We're just users like you.



  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Hi Jerrold,


    Thanks for the info.


    I think it should be clear that I was not telling users what to do.


    One would hope though, that Apple support staff would participate in these forums, to help support their products. While reading the forums, one would hope that they would take suggestions for improving the product. Does no Apple staff read and participate in these forums?


    Unfortunate that the Numbers spreadsheet doesn't freeze panes. It is strange that I cannot find any spreadsheet for Ipad that will do all three. I bought Office 2 HD for Ipad, and found out that it will only do freeze panes, but not the other two. I asked the support staff of the product "Documents to Go", and they said they support both Freeze Panes and Hide and Unhide, but not Autofit.   I think that QuickOffice also only supports Freeze Panes, but not the other two.


    Interesting then that Apple's "Numbers" supports the other two, but not Freeze Panes, the one that seems to have the most support in other products.


    I really need all three though, for my main Excel usage.


    Perhaps I will have to wait until Microsoft makes "MS Office for Ipad"!


    Well, I would hope that Apple adds the other two capabilities to "Numbers", soon!


    Thanks again for your input.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (77,170 points)

    To tell Apple what you want to see go to:




    These forums are really only user-to-user and there is very little chance that anyone relevant from Apple would ever see your suggestions among the millions of questions and answers here.

  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Thanks for the info, Tom.


    Unfortunate, I think, that Apple doesn't have support employees participoate in the site, who could help with user's problems, read suggestions and concerns, etc.


    I found and downloaded a user manual ffor Numbers 2009 here on the Apple support site. Is that still the current version, 2009? No updates since then? The manual also does not say whether it is for the Mac version or Ipad?


    In any case, the manual does say that you can freeze the header row and header column, which are all that I would want to freeze. I also see hide and unhide rows listed in the manual.


    The one that I don't see is the third one that I mentioned: Autofit. It is a very useful feature of Excel, when one is typing lots of text into cells.


    It works like the following, if one has the row height set to autofit.(I thnk one can also do that with column width, but I have only used it for row height:


    Of course the row heights and column widths are initially how you set them manually..


    If however, one is typing lots of text into a cell (with word-wrap), more than visibly fits in the cell. The width of the cell will remain fixed how set, but the height will grow to fit the text you type in, so that it is all visible. (And of course that grows the height of the whole row, not just an individual cell.)


    Might auto-fit have been added in a later version than 2009?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (77,170 points)

    John Doe1 wrote:


    Is that still the current version, 2009? No updates since then? The manual also does not say whether it is for the Mac version or Ipad?



    The manual is for the OS X version.  It has had only minor updates since 2009.

  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    No manual for the IOS version?


    Someone wrote in another thread that the Mac version does have what I called Autofit, although not called by that name.


    I don't know if the IOS version has the same features or not?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (77,170 points)
  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Thanks for the links, Tom.


    Although those are good support links for Numbers for IOS, it would be nice to have a comprehensive manual for the app. It doesn't come with one?


    I couldn't find answers to the questions I asked about three features in those pages.


    Can anyone tell me if the three features I asked about in the OP are present in Numbers for IOS--frozen panes (or frozen header columns and rows), hide and unhide columns and rows, and autofit?  (The last one might not be called autofit in Numbers. After I described what it is (described in this thread too), said that feature is present in Numbers for Mac, as the default behavior if word wrap is on for that row.) (In Excel it is not the default, but can be set to autofit the row sizing.


    It seems like the featuers may all be available in Numbers for Mac, but I am trying to find out if they are avaialble in Numbers for IOS. Anyone know?


    Also, in importing and exporting Excel, transferring files to use between Excel for Windows and Numbers for Mac, is the formatting caused by those features retained?


    Thank you.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (77,170 points)

    John Doe1 wrote:


    it would be nice to have a comprehensive manual for the app. It doesn't come with one?



    I'm not aware of any Apple manuals for iOS other than what appears in the User Guides for the various devices themselves.   Even for OS X recent apps like iBooks Author have no "manual" beyond the Help.  Of course 3rd parties have produced them for this app, and I suspect you can find some for iOS Numbers too via Google or the iBookstore.

  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    In looking at the link where one could type in a word or phrase to look for (in help for Numbers IOS), I found out a couple things:


    I think the freeze feature is certainly there, as freeze header row or column.


    The other two still are not clear.


    If one looks up hide, there is information on unhiding hidden columns or rows in an imported document, but not about hiding columns or rows in Numbers for IOS. Surprising that Unhide would be supported but not HIDE? Does anyone know?


    If one looks up word wrap, one comes up with nothing about it at all, for instance on the following page about text: http://help.apple.com/numbers/ipad/1.6.1/#tan72718cd2     . That is surprising. Hard to imagine that there is no possibility at all for word wrap in typing text into a cell,. Or perhaps that is the default, and no option not to word wrap, so not mentioned, as it always happens? (And of course if it does, that doesn't really answer about auto-fit.)


    Anyone know?

  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)

    Hi John,


    In your original question you asked about "Freeze Panes". That has a definite meaning to Excel users that is not the same thing as Freeze Rows in Numbers, and I didn't want to mislead you by saying that Freeze Panes is available in Numbers. Yes, you might get by with Freeze Rows, and I hope it works for you.


    Regarding Unhiding and Hiding, clearly it would be bad if you couldn't unhide and view all data. The ability to hide rows or columns isn't so necessary, and if it isn't supported it wouldn't be tragic, just not convenient.


    I'll bet one of the true iOS iWork users will jump in here and comment on wrapping in iOS Numbers.


    I don't know how badly you need this information, but if I had these questions, it would be worth $10 to buy the app and find out directly.



  • John Doe1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Hi Jerrold,


    I already bought Office HD2 hoping it had the features I wanted, and it didn't. Better to find out in advance.


    I think what is listed as "Freeze header row and/or column, would be what I need in that respect.


    I disagree that the ability to hide rows or colums isn't important. spreadshetts can become very long. For printing, for example, one  might want to just print out certain columns, and hide those in between. (But not delete them, as one may well want to unhide those columns later.


    That brings me to something I did not mention above--the excel function "set print area". In Excel you select the cells you want printed, then choose "Set print area", to make it clear that is the data you want printed,.I would guess there to be something similar in Numbers?


    I hope a Numbers for IOS user will help answer these questions. I am surprised that none has yet.

  • Roger D1968 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi John


    Freeze rows and columns is supported in Numbers.  Word wrap is referred to "wrap text in cell". Hide columns and rows is supported in an Excel document but once you unhide it you cannot re-hide it. If you are using this hidden info for formulas in cells, what I have been doing is placing this info on a separate sheet and then discarding it after I print it out.


    In my opinion Numbers is the only app out there that I have found that comes close to having the features and functions of Excel but they are not all compatible with each other.