How to Remove Gridlines in Excel

Have you ever wanted to get rid of gridlines in Excel? I am sure many of us have. Gridlines are the dotted vertical and horizontal lines that show up when you print off an excel document or when you prepare your workbook for publication. You can hide gridline numbers on the sheet, but if you want to get rid of the lines completely, watch this tutorial and learn how remove gridlines in Excel.

Gridlines are the vertical and horizontal lines that are drawn in Excel to help you visualize the rectangular structure of your spreadsheet. Some people might find this feature really helpful, while others may find it annoying. If you are in the latter group, following the steps in this article will allow you to remove gridlines in Excel for good.

Working with Gridlines in Excel

In this tutorial, you’ll learn:

  • How to remove gridlines from the entire worksheet.
  • How to show gridlines in a specific area in the worksheet.
  • How to change the color of the gridlines.
  • How to print the gridlines.
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How to Remove Gridlines in Excel Worksheets

By default, gridlines are always visible in an Excel worksheet. Here are the steps to remove these gridlines from the worksheet:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • In the Sheet Options group, within Gridlines, uncheck the View checkbox.
How to Remove Gridlines in Excel - View Gridlines

This would remove the gridlines from the Excel worksheet.

Here are some things to keep in mind when tinkering with the gridlines:https://af7ad0acfa06e742aea64bc757d2d2fd.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

  • You can also use the keyboard shortcut – ALT + WVG (hold the ALT key and enter W V G). This shortcut would remove the gridlines if it is visible, else it will make it visible.
  • Removing the gridlines would remove it from the entire worksheet. This setting is specific to each worksheet. If you remove the gridlines from one worksheet, it would still be visible on all the other worksheets.
  • You can also remove the gridlines by applying a background fill to the cells in the worksheet. If the gridlines are visible, and you apply a fill color in a specific area, you would notice that the gridlines disappear and the fill color takes over. Hence, if you apply the fill color to the entire worksheet, the gridlines wouldn’t be visible. (Note that you need to remove the fill color to make the gridlines visible).
  • If you want to remove the gridlines from all the worksheets at one go, select the worksheets by holding the Control Key and selecting the tabs (this would group sheets together). You would notice that the workbook is in the Group Mode (see the top of the workbook where the name is displayed). Now change the gridlines view setting and it will be applied to all the worksheets. Make sure to Ungroup the sheets (right-click on the tab and select ungroup) else all the changes you do in the current sheet would also be reflected in all the worksheets.
  • By default, gridlines are not printed.
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How to Show Gridlines in a Specific Area in the Worksheet

In Excel, you can either have the gridline visible in the entire worksheet or hide it completely. There is no way to show this in a specific area.

However, you can use borders to give a gridline effect in a specific area in the worksheet. Borders come with a lot of options and you can make it look exactly like gridlines (by selecting a light gray color).

Note: Unlike gridlines, borders are always printed.

Changing the Color of the Gridlines in Excel

You can choose to have a different gridline color in your Excel worksheets.

To set the default color:https://af7ad0acfa06e742aea64bc757d2d2fd.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

  • Go to File –> Options.
  • In the Excel Options dialogue box, select Advanced option in the left pane.How to Remove Gridlines in Excel - Advanced
  • Scroll Down to the section – ‘Display options for this worksheet:’.How to Remove Gridlines in Excel - Scroll Down
  • At the bottom of the section, use the Gridline Color drop down to select the color for the gridline.How to Remove Gridlines in Excel - Gridline color dropdown
  • Click OK.
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Note:

  • This changes the gridline color of the active (selected) worksheets only. If you want to change the gridline color of all the worksheet, select the worksheets by holding the Control Key and selecting the tabs. You would notice that the workbook is in the Group Mode (see the top of the workbook where the name is displayed). Now change the grid lines color and it will be applied to all the worksheets.
    • Make sure to Ungroup the sheets (right click on the tab and select ungroup) else all the changes you do in the current sheet would also be reflected in all the worksheets.
  • It doesn’t change the default color. The next time you insert a new worksheet or open a new workbook, it would still show the light gray color gridlines.

Printing the Gridlines in Excel

By default, gridlines in Excel are not printed. If you want to print the gridlines as well, make the following change:https://af7ad0acfa06e742aea64bc757d2d2fd.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

  • Go to Page Layout tab.
  • In the Sheet Options group, within Gridlines, check the Print checkbox.
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How to Remove Gridlines in Excel - Print

While the gridlines aren’t printed by default, borders are always printed.

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Show or hide gridlines on a worksheet

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Gridlines are the faint lines that appear between cells on a worksheet.Worksheet in which gridlines are showingWindowsmacOSWeb

About gridlines

When working with gridlines, consider the following:

  • By default, gridlines are displayed in worksheets using a color that is assigned by Excel. If you want, you can change the color of the gridlines for a particular worksheet by clicking Gridline color under Display options for this worksheet (File tab, OptionsAdvanced category).
  • People often confuse borders and gridlines in Excel. Gridlines cannot be customized in the same manner that borders can. If you want to change the width or other attributes of the lines for a border, 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. To see or print the gridlines for these cells, remove the fill color by selecting the cells, and then click the arrow next to Fill Color Button image(Home tab, Font group), and To remove the fill color, click No Fill.Note: You must remove the fill completely. If you change the fill color to white, the gridlines will remain hidden. To keep the fill color and still see lines that serve to separate cells, 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 whole worksheet or workbook, and can’t be applied to specific cells or ranges. If you want to apply lines selectively 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.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.
  2. In Excel 2007: On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, clear the Gridlines check box.Gridlines check box in Show/Hide groupIn all other Excel versions: On the View tab, in the Show group, clear the Gridlines check box.Options in the Show group on the View tab

Show gridlines on a worksheet

If the gridlines on your worksheet are hidden, you can follow these steps to show them again.

  1. Select one or more worksheets.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.
  2. Excel 2007: On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, select the Gridlines check box.All other Excel versions: On the View tab, in the Show group, select the Gridlines check box.

Note: Gridlines do not print by default. For gridlines to appear on the printed page, select the Print check box under Gridlines (Page Layout tab, Sheet Options group).

Conclusions

This has got to be one of the best kept secrets in Excel. It’s possible to remove gridline weight by using three simple steps outlined below. When you remove that heavy grid line weight, it actually gives you a chance to better see your actual data because your weight removes the bottom part of the grid lines. This is something I use on several of my spreadsheets because I tend to have a lot of data points on each sheet. So let’s get started…

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