Quickly Turn off Gridlines in Excel 2003 using Forms Toolbar [Excel Tips]

Posted on April 15th, 2010 in Excel Howtos - 4 comments

These days I rarely use Excel 2003. But when I do open the trusty old software, I always look for opportunities to improve my productivity with it. And I am pleasantly surprised to find a shorter and faster way to turn off grid lines on spreadsheets in Excel 2003. (I like my spreadsheets without any grid lines, like a clean slate).

I usually go to Tools > Options > View Tab and then uncheck the “gridlines” checkbox.

This takes about 5 clicks and a lot of mouse commute. So much that I often feel like taking a detour for a sip of coffee. But the new and simpler method I found yesterday is to use the forms tool bar (which is turned on by default in my comp). In forms toolbar you find the “toggle gridlines” button which can quickly turn on / off the grid lines. See below:

Quickly Turn off Gridlines in Excel 2003 using Forms Toolbar [Excel Tips]

Earlier on grid lines: Hide Gridlines in Excel
More Quick Excel Tips and Tricks

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Written by Chandoo
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4 Responses to “Quickly Turn off Gridlines in Excel 2003 using Forms Toolbar [Excel Tips]”

  1. Gerald Higgins says:

    Hi Chandoo

    I’m with you on removing gridlines, but I’m not sure your method is always an improvement, especially if you don’t already have the Forms toolbar activated.

    Old way – 4 or 5 clicks, and no mouse movement.
    Click 1 – Alt T for Tools menu
    Click 2 – O for Options
    Click 3 – V to activate View tab (may not be required if View tab is already activated)
    Click 3 or 4 – Alt G for Gridlines
    Click 4 or 5 – OK

    Your method (if Forms toolbar is not activated) requires lots of mouse movement
    Step 1 – highlight the toolbar using the mouse (I’m not sure if you can do this directly through a menu)
    Step 2 – right click to activate the toolbar menu
    Step 3 – select Forms using the mouse (no keyboard shortcut on this menu as far as I know)
    Step 4 – select the icon using the mouse

    Perhaps the best way, if you don’t want to have the Forms toolbar permanently active, is to drag the Grid Toggle Icon onto a toolbar that you do have permanently active. In fact I think I’ll go and do that right now :-)

  2. Jon Peltier says:

    Here’s an example where I’ve improved my productivity even more: the toggle gridlines button is on one of my custom toolbars in 2003.

  3. Isabella_OTeam says:

    Thanks for the tips on making Excel use even more efficient. You should check out the Microsoft Excel Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/microsoftexcel. Your tips and advice would be greatly appreciated over there!

    Thanks again,
    Isabella
    MSFT Office Outreach Team

  4. Chandoo says:

    @Gerald: good suggestion on the custom toolbar front. As you can guess, I have the forms toolbar on always.

    @Jon.. No wonder you love Excel 2003.

  5. AdamV says:

    While Jon has lots of reasons for liking 2003 over 2007, and customising the toolbars may be one of them, in this case things are slightly easier in 2007 (and 2010) out of the box since there is a checkbox to toggle gridlines right on the View ribbon (which can of course be added to the Quick Access Toolbar if you really do this a lot and want to do it in one click rather than two).
    In 2010 of course you can also add this to your own custom Ribbon if you wish.

  6. MPlee says:

    One of the first things I do when I start using Excel on a new computer is to create the simple macro below to toggle the grid line display on and off. Alt-G and I’m done. BTW, I do the same thing for the move-down-after-Enter, too.

    Sub ToggleGrid()
    ‘ ToggleGrid Macro
    ‘ toggle grid lines on and off
    ‘ Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+G
    ActiveWindow.DisplayGridlines = Not (ActiveWindow.DisplayGridlines)
    End Sub

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