Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Hiding Graphics.

Hiding Graphics

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2020)

If you are preparing worksheets that contain graphics, you may want to print the graphics on one version of the worksheet, but not print them on another. For example, you might be preparing a test for students, and the test requires them to draw a graph. You would want the printout of the student version of the test to leave space for drawing a graph, but the printout of the answer sheet should include the graphic showing how the students should answer.

The easiest way to handle this in Excel is to just turn off display of the graphics when you need to print the student test. In order to do this, create a single file that contains the questions and the answers. Assuming the answers are graphic files, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Advanced option at the left of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the options available until you see the Display Options for this Workbook area. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced area of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. If necessary, use the drop-down list to specify which workbook for which you want to change options.
  6. Select the Nothing (Hide Objects) radio button.
  7. Click on OK. The graphics disappear from the screen. (They are still there; they are simply invisible.)

You can now print your document, as normal. (Excel prints it very quickly since it doesn't need to send the graphics to the printer.) When you later want to see the graphics, repeat the steps, but make sure you specify that Excel should display the objects, in step 5.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6124) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Hiding Graphics.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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