All White Space, No Fillers: Hiding Gridlines in Excel

I don’t use Excel for everything these days, but I continue to use it for formatting tables.

Because, let’s be honest. Word is simply not up to the task when it comes to cleanly-formatted tables.

Generally tables in publications do not include gridlines – it’s pixel overload. So to remove my gridlines before saving the images into my publications, I hide gridlines in Excel.

Turns out, though, that I was doing it wrong…

Don’t be this guy (me)

I had been removing gridlines by filling the entire worksheet in white. 

Try this instead

Recently I learned about going to the View tab and checking of the “Gridlines” selection. This requires fewer keystrokes and is more natural — if you can achieve the same result by adding a feature versus removing it, seems like Occam would be pleased if you removed. 


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  1. DIG IT!
    I hate gridlines. I prefer to remove them and when I do need borders, I make them light gray so that they’re visible but not overwhelming.

    • George Mount says:

      Oooh, light gray borders! Good one. Yes, the more I have learned about data visualization the more minimalist I have become about how I display data.

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