Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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: Turning Headers On and Off.

Turning Headers On and Off

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 18, 2020)

You already know that the headers in a worksheet come in handy. This is the gray area, at the left and top of a worksheet, which indicates the row and column label used by Excel. You click in the header area if you want to select either a row or header. You also know that you can adjust the height or width or rows or columns by using the row and column header area.

Even though this area is very useful, there may be times when you do not want it displayed. For instance, if you are using Excel to create an on-screen form, then the header areas may be distracting to the intended users of the form.

To control whether headers are turned on or off, 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 a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the available 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. Make sure the Show Row and Column Headers check box is selected. If cleared, then the header area is not displayed.
  6. Click on OK.

As with other tasks in Excel, there are additional methods that accomplish the same result as shown above. These methods use various tabs of the ribbon. One method is to display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon, then clear the View checkbox under Headings in the Sheet Options group. Another method is to display the View tab of the ribbon and clear the Headings checkbox in the Show group.

Notice that Excel does not allow you to control the display of row and column headers individually—they are either both on or both off.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6255) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Turning Headers On and Off.

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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