Show or hide gridlines on a worksheet in Excel 2016 for Windows

Learn more about cell gridlines and how to show or hide them in Microsoft Excel workbooks.

In this article

What are cell gridlines?

Hide gridlines on a worksheet

Show gridlines on a worksheet

What are cell gridlines?

Gridlines are the faint lines that appear around cells to distinguish them on the worksheet.

Worksheet in which gridlines are showing

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, Options, Advanced category).

  • People often confuse borders and gridlines in Excel. Gridlines cannot be customized in the same manner that borders can.

  • 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, clicking the arrow next to Fill Color Button image (Home tab, Font group), and then clicking No Fill.

    Note:  You must remove the fill completely. If you change the fill color to white, the gridlines remains hidden. To keep the fill color and still see lines that serve to separate cells, you can use borders instead of gridlines.

  • Gridlines are always applied to the entire 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.

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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.

    How 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.

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

    Excel  Ribbon Image

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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.

    How 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.

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

    Excel  Ribbon Image

Note:  Gridlines that are displayed 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).

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