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Hide Grid Lines [Quick Tip]



I like to hide grid lines on my spreadsheets and charts whenever possible. I think removing gridlines makes the charts and worksheets more presentable. In case you are wondering how to remove (or hide) gridlines,

To hide grid lines on an excel worksheet:

Excel 2007 and greater: Go to View Ribbon and uncheck the “Gridlines” option. You can also press ALT + WVG

Excel 2003 and earlier: Click on Tools > Options and then in the View tab uncheck “grid lines” option.

To hide grid lines when you are printing an excel sheet:

Excel 2007 and greater: Go to Page Layout Ribbon and uncheck the “Print” option under Gridlines area. You can also press ALT + PPGremove-gridlines-charts-excel

Excel 2003 and earlier: Go to “Print Preview” and uncheck “gridlines” in “Print” tab.

To Remove grid lines from a chart:

Select the gridlines in the chart and hit delete.

What do you think about gridlines ?

Do you like them or do you try to remove then whenever you can?


Share this tip with your colleagues

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25 Responses to “Hide Grid Lines [Quick Tip]”

  1. derek says:

    I hate it when my colleagues try to hide gridlines by *painting the cells white*, so I show them where they can find the "Toggle Grid" button and add it to their toolbars. You can find it in View.. Toolbars.. Customize.. Forms, then drag it into a toolbar of your choice.

    Now they don't even have to go into Tools.. Options, they can just click on the button.

    • Kim says:

      Thank you! I've been looking everywhere for this! But, what I can't find is the toogle button to add to my toolbar so I can switch it on and off, I have Excel 2003. Which Category is it listed under?

  2. Karen says:

    Good advice - I think removing the grid lines makes your presentation much more professional.

    Derek - thanks for the tip.

  3. Nimesh says:

    I like or hate Grid lines depends on the file that I'm working on.
    If it's something like chart's or auto shapes or something which I want to highlight, I switch off the GRID.

    I also use the same method mentioned by Derek, Toggle Grid.

  4. Lawrie says:

    I totally agree. I find it easier to be more creative to create sheets absent all the lines. I certainly like both the screen and print outcome - especially if the area outside the table is included in the print area.

  5. Daan says:

    You could consider creating a personal.xls file in the Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART directory in which you default switch of the gridlines of the sheets.
    Every time you start Excel it will open this personal.xls file as the starting workbook with all your personal settings (also convenient for page options, print headers etc.).

    • Sachin Garg says:

      Hi Daan,

      Thank you for your post on switching off the gridlines.

      but it's not working in my case. what i did is i created a file with name sachin in the directory mentioned by you. every time i open the new excel it comes with gridlines.

      Thank You,

  6. Chandoo says:

    @Derek: Very cool tip. 🙂

    @Daan: That is a very good idea. Along with this, I also use templates for frequently used workbook formats and settings. For eg. all the downloadable workbooks on this website have same format. So I made a template and use it when I want to create a new workbook for uploading on PHD.

  7. Nimesh says:

    Chandoo: I like the template that you use. It looks so professional.

    I hate stuff that people make just for the sake of making the document.

    But such professional touch adds much more value to the document, which everyone doesn't know.


  8. Jay says:


    Grid lines are like private hair. Get rid of them at each chance.

  9. Tony says:

    9 times out of 10 I am either hiding or softening grid lines.

  10. sam says:

    In Excel 2003 - Click on the button Toggle Grid (Available in Category Forms)
    In Excel 2007 - Click on the button View Grid Lines (Toggles) - Available in the "Command well"

  11. [...] have also adjusted the font colors and did some table formatting (like adding borders, removing gridlines [...]

  12. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    While somewhat awkward, you can toggle the grid liines on and off via the keyboard for XL2003 (and earlier I presume)...


  13. krishna says:

    Thanks dude, your post is very helpful.

    Thanks indeed

  14. Matt says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    How might I hide specific gridlines (but not all gridlines)?

    For example, I require only the horizontal gridline at 0, and none of the others (at, for e.g. -10, -5, 5 and then 10)... to get around this I'm deleting ALL horizontal gridlines, and charting an extra series of values (all at 0), to give an pseudo-horizontal line at 0...

    Many thanks for an excellent site!


  15. Hui... says:

    If you setup a new chart , select a Horizontal Grid Line (it will select all the Horizontal Gridlines) and Push Delete it will select all the grid lines and you should still have a Horizontal line for an Axis

  16. Richard says:

    I found my axis didnt show as I didn't have a label. If you add a label to the axis in 2007 you should see the gridline and you can delete the other major gridlines.

  17. Jake says:

    Chandoo: I am interested in deleting SOME (but not all) gridlines. I have a line graph and need the gridline after "Session 3" on the horizontal axis gone, plus a few others. How can I do this? Thanks!

  18. REJU says:

    very usefull and help for better understanding

  19. Jeffrey says:

    What is a grid cell on excel 2007??

  20. RK says:

    I find Grid Lines useful. It is easy to see what is the value of a particular item. In a long sheet with multiple rows the grid lines are useful to read the data.
    The trick for indentation by narrowing the width of first two columns is useful.

  21. tristan says:

    omg grid lines r it. they r wat keeep me going in this world seeing them go on and off is what inspires me to keep pursuing my hopeful career of becoming an excel spreadsheet one day.

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