Show or hide gridlines on a sheet

Gridlines are the faint lines that appear around cells. They are used to distinguish cells on the sheet. When working with gridlines, consider the following:

  • By default, gridlines are displayed in sheets using a color that is assigned by Excel. If you like, you can change the color of the gridlines for a particular sheet.

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

  • If you apply a fill color to cells on your sheet, you won't be able to see or print the cell gridlines for those cells. To see or print the gridlines for these cells, you must remove the fill color. Keep in mind that you must remove the fill entirely. If you simply change the fill color to white, the gridlines will remain hidden. To retain 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 sheet or workbook, and can't be applied to specific cells or ranges. 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.

Do any of the following:

Hide gridlines

Sometimes the information on your sheet is easier to read when the gridlines are hidden.

  1. Click the sheet.

  2. On the Layout tab, under View, clear the Gridlines check box.

Show gridlines

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

  1. Click the sheet.

  2. On the Layout tab, under View, select the Gridlines check box.

    Note: Gridlines cannot be customized. To change the width, color, or other attributes of the lines around cells, use border formatting.

See also

Print cell gridlines

Add, change, or remove cell borders

Merge or split cells or cell contents

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