How to Show Grid Lines When Printing in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

To show grid lines when printing in Microsoft Excel, you’ll need to navigate to the “Page Layout” tab, click on “Sheet Options”, and then check the box under “Gridlines” that says “Print”. Once you’ve done that, the grid lines will appear on your printed Excel document.

After completing the action, your Excel spreadsheet will print with grid lines, allowing for easier data interpretation and a more professional appearance.


Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool used by millions around the world to organize, analyze, and display data. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who loves to keep things neat and tidy, being able to print your Excel spreadsheets with grid lines can be a game-changer. Why is this feature so important? Well, have you ever tried to follow a row across a page without any guidelines? It’s not easy!

Grid lines help guide your eyes and make it much simpler to read and understand complex data. It’s also a great way to make your printed spreadsheets look more professional and polished. Whether you’re handing out data at a meeting, turning in a school project, or just printing it out for your personal records, having grid lines can make a big difference.

Step by Step Tutorial: Show Grid Lines When Printing in Microsoft Excel

This section will guide you through the process of setting up your Excel spreadsheet to print with grid lines.

Step 1: Open the “Page Layout” tab

Access the “Page Layout” tab in the Excel ribbon to adjust print settings.

In the Excel ribbon at the top of your screen, you’ll see a series of tabs. Click on the one that says “Page Layout”. This is where you can control how your spreadsheet will look when it’s printed.

Step 2: Check “Gridlines” in “Sheet Options”

In the “Sheet Options” group, find “Gridlines” and check the “Print” box.

You’ll find “Sheet Options” on the right side of the “Page Layout” tab. There are two checkboxes under “Gridlines”: one for viewing gridlines on your screen and one for printing them. Make sure the “Print” box is checked.

Step 3: Print your document

Once “Gridlines” is selected for printing, go ahead and print your document.

Now that you’ve set up your document to print grid lines, you can print it like you normally would. Click “File”, then “Print”, and voila! Your grid lines should be visible on your printed spreadsheet.


Improved ReadabilityWith grid lines printed, it’s easier to follow data across and down the spreadsheet, reducing reading errors.
Professional AppearancePrinted grid lines give your spreadsheets a polished, professional look, which can be particularly important in a business setting.
Better Data OrganizationGrid lines help in organizing data neatly on the printed page, making it clearer and more digestible for readers.


Ink ConsumptionPrinting grid lines uses more ink, which could be a concern for those looking to save on printing costs.
Cluttered AppearanceIn some cases, especially with densely populated spreadsheets, grid lines could make the page look cluttered.
Printer SettingsNot all printers handle grid lines well, causing potential issues with line alignment or quality.

Additional Information

While the steps above are fairly straightforward, there are a few additional things to keep in mind when printing grid lines in Microsoft Excel. First, the default grid line color is light grey, which may not be suitable for all printers or preferences. You can change the color of the grid lines by going to the “Page Layout” tab, clicking on “Colors”, and selecting a new color for the grid lines.

Additionally, if you are working with a large spreadsheet, you might need to adjust the scaling of your document to ensure that the grid lines print clearly and don’t become too crowded. This can also be done from the “Page Layout” tab under “Scale to Fit”. Remember, the key is to enhance readability, so adjusting grid line thickness and color to suit the content of your document is worth considering.


  1. Open the “Page Layout” tab
  2. Check “Gridlines” in “Sheet Options”
  3. Print your document

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the color of the grid lines when printing?

Yes, you can change the grid line color by going to the “Page Layout” tab and selecting a new color under “Colors”.

Will grid lines appear on every page of my printed document?

As long as the “Print” box under “Gridlines” in the “Sheet Options” group is checked, grid lines will appear on every printed page of your Excel spreadsheet.

Can I save my document with grid lines visible for future prints?

Yes, once you’ve selected the “Print” box under “Gridlines”, it will remain checked until you uncheck it, so the settings will be saved for future prints.

What if the grid lines don’t print clearly?

If your grid lines aren’t printing clearly, try adjusting the color and line thickness, or check your printer settings for any issues that might be affecting print quality.

Will printing grid lines use a lot of ink?

Printing grid lines can increase ink usage, so if you’re trying to conserve ink, you may want to consider only printing grid lines for the final version of your document.


And there you have it! Showing grid lines when printing in Microsoft Excel is a simple but crucial step in making your data more accessible and professional-looking. Whether you’re a data analyst, a student, or someone who appreciates the clarity that grid lines can bring to a document, knowing how to adjust your Excel settings for printing is a valuable skill.

Remember that while grid lines can be incredibly helpful, they should be used judiciously to avoid overwhelming your page with unnecessary clutter. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the satisfaction of a beautifully organized printed spreadsheet.

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