How to make Excel print gridlines

Ekaterina Bespalaya by , updated on

One of the most common complaints about gridlines is that they are not printed by default. In this article you'll learn how to print gridlines in Excel and get these faint lines brighter on a hard copy by changing the default gridline color.

It's a good idea to preview your worksheet before getting it on paper to make sure that it looks the way you want. Luckily, Excel 2010 and 2013 allow you to preview and print your files in one location -- on the Print tab in the Backstage view. When you go there, you may find that Excel won't print gridlines in your sheet. As the result, you will get a stack of papers with the data that can be difficult to separate visually.

To cope with this problem, you can use the Borders option or just make Excel print gridlines. The first way will take you a good deal of time. So if you, as many other users, want to do it faster, read this article and find out how to print lines in Excel without drawing cell borders.

It really takes you a few seconds to instruct Excel to print gridlines. Just go to the Sheets Options group on the PAGE LAYOUT tab and check the Print box under Gridlines. Go to PAGE LAYOUT -> Sheets Options to select the Print checkbox under Gridlines

It's that simple! Now you can leisurely keep working on your worksheet.

If you want to make sure that the document will be printed with gridlines, just navigate to FILE -> Print or press the Ctrl + P keyboard shortcut. In the Print Preview pane you will see how your worksheet will look like on the printouts. Choose the Print option from the FILE menu to make sure that your spreadsheet will print with gridlines / cell lines

Specify the Page Setup settings to print lines in Excel

If you forget to enable the Print Gridlines option in the Ribbon, you can do it just before getting a paper copy of your spreadsheet. Here are easy-to-follow steps to print gridlines in Excel keeping the Print Preview pane open.

Note: If you've already got out of the Backstage view, you can either go to FILE -> Print or press Ctrl + P to come back.

  1. Click on the Page Setup link under the Print Settings list. Click on the Page Setup link under the Print Settings list to open the Page Setup dialog
  2. Move to the Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Select the Gridlines checkbox in the Print group. Check the Gridlines box on the Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog window to print gridlines in Excel
  4. Click OK.

You will immediately see your spreadsheet with lines in the Print Preview pane.

Note: Excel does not print gridlines around empty cells in a worksheet. If you want to include blank rows and columns into printing as well, just use the Print Area icon to set the range.

Set the print area to get empty cells printed with gridlines

Change the printed gridlines color

By default, gridlines in Excel spreadsheets are light gray. If you're printing your sheet with grid on a color printer, you can change the lines color for something more attention-getting.

  1. Click the FILE tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Choose Options from the FILE menu to open the Excel Options dialog. Choose Options from the FILE menu to open the Excel Options dialog window
  3. Select the Advanced category on the left pane of the Excel Options window.
  4. Scroll down to Display options for this worksheet.
  5. Pick the sheet from the drop-down list where you want to change the grid lines color. Go to the Display options for this worksheet section to change the gridlines color
  6. Make sure that the Show gridlines checkbox is selected.
  7. Click on the small arrow next to Gridline color. Open the Gridline color drop-down list to pick the color you want
  8. Choose the color you want and click OK. Click OK to display the changes in the worksheet

You will see that the cell boundaries are accurately outlined by colored lines. They will help you read information on the paper copy of your spreadsheet, keeping rows and columns with data visually organized.

Alongside with grid lines, you can also improve readability of your Excel document by printing row and column headers on every page.

Now you know how to print gridlines in Excel 2016-2010 and change the default gridline color. I hope you'll find these simple tricks helpful, and your colleagues will appreciate your friendly way of printing out data.