Grid Lines Missing in Excel Spreadsheet [Tutorial]

I came across an interesting problem with one of my end users the other day. They said they couldn’t see the lines on their spreadsheet anymore. This is usually a pretty easy problem to solve. In the image below, you will notice that by going to the “View” tab and clicking the check box beside “Gridlines”, you can toggle the lines on and off. Unfortunately, this was not the problem in this case.

Grid Lines

When I got to the users PC, I saw a screen similar to what is pictured below. I did the step above only to find that she did have “Gridlines” toggled on.


Why weren’t the grid lines showing up? It didn’t make any sense. As is almost always the case, it’s the little things that people forget to tell you they were doing that will point you in the right direction. I discovered that the user had filled the cells with the color white. When you put a fill color in a cell, the gridlines disappear unless you have applied a border to that cell. Once I figured out what they did, the fix was pretty easy. In the picture below, you will see the “Fill Color” button selected from the “Home” tab on the ribbon toolbar. With the cells you want to fix selected, click the “Fill Color” button and choose “No Fill” from the menu. Like magic your gridlines will reappear.

No Fill

I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. If you have any feedback or would like a question answered, please feel free to write. We love hearing from our readers.

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Darrin Jenkins

Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!

  • Ray Butterworth

    Hi Darrin,
    Just found the answer to my concern about missing grid lines (Micro – Excel)……Thank s v much.
    Look forward to your guidance in the future.
    Have a great day.
    Ray Butterworth – Nottingham – (UK at 15:41 hrs)
    [OAP 69 y.o.a.] and never going back!)

    PS.My problem is when next time I’m faced with the same problem, IS remembering where I found the answer last time!!!! Ye…Ha… Yoo’ get mi’ drift?

    • I am glad you found your answer. Thanks for reading us!

  • Steve

    didn’t work

  • AdminGirl

    I was figuring this for about a few minutes and you made it quicker for me! Saved me a lot of time!
    Thanks a bunch!!

    • Darrin Jenkins

      Glad that it helped you. Thanks for reading us!