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: Changing the Color of Worksheet Gridlines.

Changing the Color of Worksheet Gridlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 16, 2019)

3

Most people using Excel leave the gridlines visible so that they can easily see where the various cells are. By default, the gridlines are a light gray. You can easily change the gridlines to a different color by following 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 a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the options until you see the Display Options for this Worksheet section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Ensure the Show Gridlines check box is selected.
  6. Using the Gridline Color drop-down list, choose the color you want to use.
  7. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6210) 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: Changing the Color of Worksheet Gridlines.

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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What is nine more than 9?

2021-02-06 14:28:37

John Mann

This bears further investigation on my part - thanks for idea. When I set the grid lines colour to a non-standard colour, I usually match them to the colour of the tab for the worksheet. Setting the grid colour to match the tab colour is an attempt to replace the very nice feature in Lotus 1-2-3 whereby the tab colour o the entire active sheet is reproduced as a line across the top of the sheet. (1-2-3 has it's tabs across the top, instead of wasting space in the status bar. (see Figure 1 below)

It would seem to me, therefor, that modifying the macro to pick up the colour of the worksheet tab, and then applying it tothe gridlines of not just a range of cells but to the entire sheet would be very useful. Something to experiment with while I'm learning macros.

Figure 1. Lotus 1-2-3 tabs


2021-01-31 06:55:02

Harold Druss

For John Mann:
How about a macro?

Sub SetBackgroundColor()
Dim rng As Range
Set rng = Range("D1, D3, D5, D7")
With rng
.Interior.ColorIndex = 8
.BorderAround ColorIndex:=1, Weight:=xlThin
End With
End Sub


2021-01-30 16:51:12

John Mann

I've used this option on a number of occasions for various reasons - practical or just to look pretty.

It doesn't solve a problem I've encountered with Excel 2010 (can't write about other versions) where when I set a background colour for a range of cells, the grid-lines disappear. If I want them to be visible within a coloured ranged, I have to actually format the range with external and internal borders of the desired colour. On some occasions I've done that by selecting the entire sheet, then setting the border colours.


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