Display or hide chart gridlines

To make the data in a chart that displays axes (axis: A line bordering the chart plot area used as a frame of reference for measurement. The y axis is usually the vertical axis and contains data. The x-axis is usually the horizontal axis and contains categories.) easier to read, you can display horizontal and vertical chart gridlines. Gridlines extend from any horizontal and vertical axes across the plot area (plot area: In a 2-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including all data series. In a 3-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including the data series, category names, tick-mark labels, and axis titles.) of the chart. You can also display depth gridlines in 3-D charts. Displayed for major and minor units, gridlines align with major and minor tick marks on the axes when tickmarks are displayed. You cannot display gridlines for chart types that do not display axes, such as pie charts and doughnut charts.


Chart that displays horizontal, vertical, and depth gridlines

Callout 1 Horizontal gridline
Callout 2 Vertical gridline
Callout 3 Depth gridline

 Note   This article covers working with gridlines in a chart. For more information about working with gridlines on a worksheet, see Hide or display cell gridlines on a worksheet and Print with or without cell gridlines.

What do you want to do?


Display chart gridlines

  1. Click anywhere on the chart to which you want to add chart gridlines.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Axes group, click Gridlines.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. Do one or more of the following:
  • For horizontal gridlines, click Primary Horizontal Gridlines, and then click the option that you want.
  • For secondary horizontal gridlines, click Secondary Horizontal Gridlines.

 Note   This option is only available for charts that display a secondary horizontal axis. For more information, see Add or remove a secondary axis in a chart.

  • For vertical gridlines, click Primary Vertical Gridlines, and then click the option that you want.
  • For secondary vertical gridlines, click Secondary Vertical Gridlines.

 Note   This option is only available for charts that display a secondary vertical axis. For more information, see Add or remove a secondary axis in a chart.

  • For depth gridlines on a 3-D chart, click Depth Gridlines, and then click the option that you want.

 Note   This option is only available when the selected chart is a true 3-D chart, such as a 3-D column chart.

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Hide chart gridlines

  1. Click anywhere on the chart to which you want to add chart gridlines.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Axes group, click Gridlines.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. Do one or more of the following:
  • Click Primary Horizontal Gridlines, Primary Vertical Gridlines, or Depth Gridlines (on a 3-D chart), and then click None.
  • Click Secondary Horizontal Gridlines or Secondary Vertical Gridlines, and then click None.

 Note   These options are only available when a chart has secondary horizontal or vertical axes.

  • Select the horizontal or vertical chart gridlines that you want to remove, and then press DELETE.

 Tip   You can also right-click the gridlines, and then click Delete.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007