How to Remove, Add and Print Gridlines in Excel

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Gridlines are the key to organizing data in an Excel spreadsheet into rows and columns.  Gridlines increase efficiency and bring order and clarity especially when we are dealing with large data sets.  

What are gridlines in Excel?  

Gridlines are the faint lines that mark the border of each cell in an Excel worksheet.  The empty worksheet below shows horizontal and vertical lines that separate the cells, also known as gridlines.

Figure 1.  Empty Excel worksheet showing gridlines

How to view gridlines in Excel?

By default, an Excel worksheet shows gridlines.  However, when we do encounter a sheet without gridlines, these two steps will directly show gridlines in Excel.  

  • Click the Page Layout tab, then tick the View box under Gridlines  

Figure 2.  Click View Gridlines box under Page Layout tab

Figure 3.  Output: View gridlines in Excel

  • Click the View tab, then tick the box for Gridlines  

Figure 4.  Click Gridlines box under View tab

How to remove gridlines in excel?

In order to hide gridlines, we simply uncheck the View Gridlines box.  We can do either of these two options:

  • Click the Page Layout tab, then uncheck the View box under Gridlines

Figure 5.  Hide gridlines in Excel through Page Layout tab

  • Click the View tab, then uncheck the box for Gridlines  

Figure 6.  Remove gridlines in Excel through the View tab

How to make selected gridlines disappear in Excel?  

There is a way to hide gridlines in selected cells only, by using color.  We follow these steps:

  • Select the cells whose gridlines we want to get rid of, in this case, C3:C12

Figure 7.  Select cells to make gridlines disappear

  • Click Home tab, then Fill Color
  • Select the color we want (e.g. Aqua, Accent 5, Lighter 60%)  

In an instant, the selected  Excel gridlines disappear when color is added   

Figure 8.  Hide gridlines in Excel using fill color  

In order to restore the gridlines, we follow the same procedure but this time, we choose No Fill in the Fill Color drop-down menu.  

Figure 9.  Restore gridlines by removing fill color

Figure 10. Output:  Restore gridlines in Excel

How to print gridlines in Excel with empty cells?

Gridlines are generally for viewing, not printing.  When we preview our worksheet before printing, it usually looks plain and without gridlines.  

Figure 11.  Default preview of worksheet before printing

In most cases, we want to print the gridlines to make our document visually organized and easy to interpret.  When Excel won’t print gridlines, we simply have to tick the Print Gridlines box under the Page Layout tab.  

Figure 12.  Click Print Gridlines box under Page Layout tab

Just like that, the gridlines will be printed.  

Figure 13.  Print preview of worksheet showing gridlines before printing

How to change the color of printed gridlines?

The default color for gridlines is gray.  In order to change the gridline color, we follow these steps:  

  • Click the File tab, then Options

Figure 14.  Click File tab and select Options

  • Click Advanced, then scroll down the page to “Display options for this worksheet”

Figure 15.  Advanced options preview

  • Tick the Show gridlines box, then choose the color we want (e.g. Orange)
  • Click OK

Figure 16.  Display options for worksheet preview

The new color will be reflected in all gridlines in that worksheet.  

Figure 17.  Gridlines formatted with the new color

Figure 18.  Print preview showing new color for gridlines