How to Establish Gridlines in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Establishing gridlines in Excel is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Simply go to the “View” tab, and in the “Show” group, check the box for “Gridlines.” This action will make the gridlines visible on your worksheet, helping you to align text and objects and structure your data clearly.

After you’ve completed this action, your Excel worksheet will have a grid-like appearance with lines separating the cells. This visual aid can be especially useful when working with large amounts of data, allowing for easier reading and organization.


Excel is a powerhouse when it comes to data management and presentation. One of the fundamental features of Excel that users often take for granted is the gridline. These are the faint lines that you see around the cells which help to distinguish one cell from the other. But wait, why is this important? Imagine trying to read a book without any lines to separate the words and sentences; it would be a chaotic mess, right? The same goes for Excel. Gridlines help to keep your data neat and tidy, making it easier to read, follow and understand.

Gridlines are not just about aesthetics; they play a crucial role in data organization. They are especially relevant to individuals who deal with extensive datasets, such as accountants, analysts, and project managers. By establishing gridlines, you can ensure that your data is structured correctly, making it easier to navigate and manipulate. Now, let’s walk through the process of setting up gridlines in Excel, step by step.

Step by Step Tutorial: Establishing Gridlines in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s worth noting that following them will allow you to have a clear, well-organized worksheet that will enable you to work more efficiently.

Step 1: Open Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel and open a new or existing worksheet.

Opening Excel is your starting point. It’s where all the magic happens! If you’re new to Excel, don’t worry. The interface is user-friendly, and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Step 2: Go to the View Tab

Navigate to the “View” tab on the Excel ribbon.

The “View” tab is like the control center for how you view your worksheet. It contains several options, but for now, we’re focused on gridlines.

Step 3: Check the Gridlines Box

In the “Show” group, you will find a checkbox for “Gridlines.” Click this box to check it.

By checking this box, you’re telling Excel that you want to see the gridlines. It’s as simple as that!


Enhanced ReadabilityGridlines make data easier to read and understand, reducing the likelihood of errors.
Improved OrganizationThey help to organize data neatly, ensuring that everything is in its proper place.
Ease of UseGridlines are simple to establish and can be turned on or off with just a few clicks.

Gridlines are a small feature that makes a big difference. They make it easier to track where data is located, which is invaluable when working with large spreadsheets. Plus, they’re a breeze to set up – a few clicks and you’re good to go.


Can Be DistractingSome users find gridlines to be visually distracting, especially when working with smaller data sets.
Print IssuesGridlines do not automatically print, which can be troublesome for those needing hard copies.
Limited CustomizationThe appearance of gridlines is set by Excel and offers limited customization options.

While gridlines are generally helpful, they are not without their limitations. Some users might find them more of a hindrance than a help. Also, if you need to print your spreadsheet, you’ll need to take extra steps to include the gridlines. And if you’re the type who likes to personalize everything, you might be disappointed by the lack of customization options.

Additional Information

When establishing gridlines in Excel, there’s a bit more to consider. For instance, did you know that you can also add gridlines to your printed worksheets? By default, Excel does not print gridlines, but with a few clicks, you can change this setting by going to the “Page Layout” tab and checking the “Print” box under the “Gridlines” section.

Furthermore, if you’re not a fan of the default gridline color, you can change it! Head to the “Excel Options” from the “File” tab, click “Advanced,” and under “Display options for this worksheet,” you can choose a new color for your gridlines. Keep in mind, though, that this changes the gridline color for all cells, not just specific ones.

Lastly, remember that gridlines are different from borders. Borders are used to outline individual cells or groups of cells and can be customized in terms of style, color, and thickness. Gridlines, on the other hand, are meant for screen viewing to separate cells in a uniform fashion.


  1. Open Excel
  2. Navigate to the “View” tab
  3. Check the “Gridlines” box

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the color of gridlines?

Yes, you can change the color of gridlines in Excel by accessing the Excel Options and modifying the gridline color in the Advanced view.

Do gridlines print automatically in Excel?

No, gridlines do not print by default. You need to adjust the settings in the “Page Layout” tab to include them in your printout.

Are gridlines the same as cell borders?

No, gridlines are meant for screen viewing and cannot be customized as extensively as cell borders, which are used for outlining cells.

Can I remove gridlines from my worksheet?

Absolutely, just uncheck the “Gridlines” box in the “View” tab to remove them from the screen.

Can I have gridlines in some parts of my worksheet but not others?

No, gridlines are an all-or-nothing feature in Excel. However, you can use borders to create a similar effect on specific cells.


Establishing gridlines in Excel is a quick and easy process that can significantly improve the readability and organization of your data. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned Excel user, understanding how to manipulate gridlines is an essential skill. Remember that while gridlines are helpful, they have their limitations, and it’s important to know the difference between gridlines and borders for the best results in your Excel projects. So go ahead, try tuning those gridlines to your preference, and watch your data come alive with clarity and structure!

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