Show or hide gridlines on a worksheet

This article describes what gridlines are, and how to show or hide them in your Excel 2007 workbooks.

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What are cell gridlines?

Gridlines are the faint lines that appear around cells in Excel 2007. They are used to distinguish cells on the worksheet.

Worksheet in which gridlines are showing

When working with gridlines, keep the following things in mind.

  • By default, gridlines are displayed in worksheets using a color that is assigned by Excel. If you like, you can change the color of the gridlines for a particular worksheet. For more information, see Change the color of gridlines in a worksheet.
  • Gridlines do not print by default. If you want gridlines to appear on the printed page, see Print gridlines in a worksheet.
  • People often confuse borders and gridlines in Excel. Gridlines cannot be customized in the same way that borders can. If you want to be able to change the width or other attributes of the line, see Apply or remove cell borders on a worksheet.
  • If you apply a fill color to cells on your worksheet, you won't be able to see or print the cell gridlines for those cells. If you want to see or print the gridlines for these cells, you must remove the fill color. To do so, select the cells, and then click arrow next to Fill Color Button image (Home tab, Font group). To remove the fill color, click No Fill. Keep in mind that you must remove the fill entirely. If you simply change the fill color to white, the gridlines will remain hidden. If you want to be able to retain the fill color, you can use borders instead of gridlines. For more information, see Apply or remove cell borders on a worksheet.
  • Gridlines are always applied to the entire worksheet or workbook. If you want to selectively apply lines around specific cells or ranges of cells, you should use borders instead of, or in addition to, gridlines. For more information, see Apply or remove cell borders on a worksheet.

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Hide gridlines on a worksheet

If the design of your workbook requires it, you can hide the gridlines:

Worksheet in which gridlines have been hidden

  1. Select one or more worksheets.

ShowHow to select worksheets

To select Do this
A single sheet

Click the sheet tab.

Active sheet tab

If you don't see the tab that you want, click the tab scrolling buttons to display the tab, and then click the tab.

Tab scrolling buttons

Two or more adjacent sheets Click the tab for the first sheet. Then hold down SHIFT while you click the tab for the last sheet that you want to select.
Two or more nonadjacent sheets Click the tab for the first sheet. Then hold down CTRL while you click the tabs of the other sheets that you want to select.
All sheets in a workbook Right-click a sheet tab, and then click Select All Sheets on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.).

Tip    When multiple worksheets are selected, [Group] appears in the title bar at the top of the worksheet. To cancel a selection of multiple worksheets in a workbook, click any unselected worksheet. If no unselected sheet is visible, right-click the tab of a selected sheet, and then click Ungroup Sheets on the shortcut menu.

  1. On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, clear the Gridlines check box.

Gridlines check box in Show/Hide group

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Show gridlines on a worksheet

If the gridlines on your worksheet are hidden, you can use the following procedure to show them again.

  1. Select one or more worksheets.

ShowHow to select worksheets

To select Do this
A single sheet

Click the sheet tab.

Active sheet tab

If you don't see the tab that you want, click the tab scrolling buttons to display the tab, and then click the tab.

Tab scrolling buttons

Two or more adjacent sheets Click the tab for the first sheet. Then hold down SHIFT while you click the tab for the last sheet that you want to select.
Two or more nonadjacent sheets Click the tab for the first sheet. Then hold down CTRL while you click the tabs of the other sheets that you want to select.
All sheets in a workbook Right-click a sheet tab, and then click Select All Sheets on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.).

Tip    When multiple worksheets are selected, [Group] appears in the title bar at the top of the worksheet. To cancel a selection of multiple worksheets in a workbook, click any unselected worksheet. If no unselected sheet is visible, right-click the tab of a selected sheet, and then click Ungroup Sheets on the shortcut menu.

  1. On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, select the Gridlines check box.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007