Shortcuts to Hide Columns

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 5, 2013)


Tom notes that in older versions of Excel he would use Ctrl+0 would hide selected columns and Ctrl+Shift+0 to unhide those columns. When he upgraded to Excel 2007, however, only the Ctrl+0 worked for him, not Ctrl+Shift+0. Tom wonders if Microsoft changed one shortcut but not the other.

There was no change in the shortcuts; they both still work just fine in Excel 2007. If the second shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+0) doesn't work on your system, it could be because there is some add-in being loaded that stops the shortcut from working properly or, perhaps, because a custom shortcut key has been defined that uses the same keypress.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the only way that Ctrl+Shift+0 works is if you have at least one hidden column selected before you use it. For example, if you hide columns D and E, you can later unhide them by selecting columns C through F (which obviously includes the hidden columns) and then pressing the shortcut.

Finally, you should be aware that both of these shortcuts only work if you use the 0 key on the main keyboard. They won't work if you use the 0 key on the numeric keypad.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7757) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007.

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 2 + 1?

2016-01-19 18:23:08


Another way to hide columns:

1º: Select columns to hide
2º: Ctrl+=

2016-01-18 23:20:40



2014-09-26 12:24:32



You will need to go
Control Panel
Language Settings
Advanced Settings
Change Language Bar Hot Keys
Change Key Sequence
Change to None.

2013-11-11 07:27:41


Bob: if you want to use the mouse then by all means go ahead. I will never consider clicking a menu item a shortcut if there's a keyboard way to do it, but if that's the way you work then more power to you.

Tony: You can find the add-ins by going to File > Excel Options > Add Ins (the menu names might be slightly different, as I'm using 2007 right now). Under "Manage" near the bottom of the dialog, select a type of add-in and then press "go". You can turn off the add-ins one at a time and see if the keyboard functionality starts working again. If it starts working again, reload the add-in and see if it has a settings panel you can change, to re-map the keyboard shortcut.

If that doesn't work, maybe restart your computer, open Excel without opening anything else (you may need to temporarily disable startup programs), and then try the shortcut. Perhaps there's another program that's hijacking the shortcut.

Chuck: I did more searching, and other than the Vista language keyboard settings, I couldn't find anything else that uses this keyboard shortcut. On my Win7 machine the default to change the keyboard layout is Left Alt + Shift, but maybe yours is changed. Can't hurt to check: Start > Control Panel > Change keyboards or other input methods > Change Keyboards... > Advanced Key Settings.

2013-11-09 16:54:36

Bob D

For an article headed "shortcuts" (not strictly Keyboard one's Bryan) this has generated a lot of content, in the main indicating that the original idea might be great in theory but perhaps not always in practice. Use the mouse Luke, it works 100% of the time, and that's a shortcut.

2013-11-09 13:16:47


I'm using Excel 2010 and the Unhide shortcut isn't working for me either. What are the Add-Ins Allen Wyatt refers to that we should possibly consider as the culprit in this?

2013-11-08 06:35:44

Surendera M. Bhanot

Thanks Bryan for putting the things back on track. And Thanks to Chuck Trese for valuable additions. And final thanks to Bob Davey.

2013-11-07 13:10:13

Chuck Trese

btw, for those of us who can't use Ctrl-Shift-0, but really want a keyboard answer, I guess you can always revert to the Alt-key method to go through the menus. In Excel 2007, the key sequence is Alt-h, o, u, l. (Not exactly a short-cut, and certainly not easy to remember.)

2013-11-07 09:36:50

Chuck Trese

By the way, for those that think this is just a bunch of fuss over nothing... yeah, you're mostly right, but a look at tip 011471,, might shed some light on the topic.

2013-11-07 09:25:06

Chuck Trese

Interesting, when I go through the ribbon and drop-downs to get to the function (via Home -> Format -> Hide & Unhide -> Unhide Columns), as I float the mouse pointer over the function, it gives me the tip "Unhide Columns (Ctrl+Shift+))". So clearly, Excel still thinks the key combination should work. Anybody know of a way to test if the key combination is getting to Excel or not?

In the meantime, I put the Unhide Columns in the QAT, but my QAT is already so cluttered, I don't need more up there.

2013-11-07 09:01:49

Chuck Trese

Bryan, thanks for bringing this back to being helpful. After I hit Ctrl-0 to hide a column, if I then immediately hit Ctrl-Shift-0, absolutley nothing happens, even though the column is still selected. Clearly something is highjacking the key combination. I know for a fact that I did not assign this combination to anything. Anybody aware of any Windows operations that might be using the Ctrl-Shift-0?

2013-11-07 07:44:49


Bob, do you only use one hand to type? That will seriously limit the usefulness of any keyboard functionality in Excel. You can't even use the arrow keys to move around the sheet. Ctrl+shift+0 is easy to reach with my right hand... (and the article *is* titled "SHORTCUTS" to Hide Columns, so maybe it is silly you for thinking this article was generically about hiding rows and columns).

The Excel shortcut works for me in XL07. To the people for whom it doesn't work: if you press Ctrl+0 then immediately Ctrl+Shift+0 (while the hidden column is still selected) does it work? The only thing I can think of is maybe it's not properly selecting the columns? I also found an mskb article that says Ctrl+Shift+0 is a Vista shortcut to switch the input language -- maybe you need to mess with your language settings?

It's really hard to diagnose when it's working properly for me :-/

2013-11-06 17:27:10

Bob Davey

Surendera, thanks for the heads up and reminding me what we are actually discussing here (and in three sentences too).

Silly me, I thought it was generically about hiding columns and rows, particularly given that many of the posts assert that the shortcuts discussed here do in fact not work.

I was also under the impression that one made contributions in this forum in an effort to assist others, or add value, not to criticise them for doing so.

Oh, and I do wish I had those really long finger thingys that allowed me to hit ctrl+shift+O with one hand whilst using the mouse with the other, such dexterity!

Oh, and there is a woopsies in your 12:22 post, says it all.

2013-11-06 09:07:39

Surendera M. Bhanot

Dear RickG and Bob Davey - we are discussing here the key-board shortcuts. The Mouse matter is out of context here. However, it is a different discussion altogether whether key-board or mouse. However when you are working on key-board, it is quite easier to use key-board short cuts than to spare you one hand for the mouse activity and again come back to the key-board. .

2013-11-05 17:46:15

Bob Davey

It is far easier just using the mouse, a swipe and two quick clicks, no fuss, one hand only, total ergonimic reach = one inch. Economical productivity wise using virtually no energy, no fingers flying over keyboards etc so no risk if RSI or injury to fellow workers (if you are woring in a sub c call centre for example). No need to overcomplicate such a simple process. :}

2013-11-05 12:55:18


"Mouse"-keteers can use the context menu. Right-click - Hide, or Unhide.

2013-11-05 12:22:03

Surendera M. Bhanot

Another thing is that the hitting "0" along with Ctrl or Ctrl+Shit on the Numeric Keypad is of no use.

The Unhiding by pressing Ctrl+Shift+0 is of no use in Excel 2010 in Windows 8, too.

2013-11-05 11:06:42

Steve Moses

I prefer to use the group function rather than hiding columns or rows as it is easy to hide and unhide columns and rows by simply clicking a + or - sign and more importantly, it is obvious immediately what columns or rows are not displayed making formula troubleshooting and checking easier. I have added icons for group and ungroup to my quick access tool bar.

2013-11-05 11:03:27

Gary Lundblad

Same here- running Windows 7 and Excel 2013. I do run the ASAP Utilities addin.

Gary Lundblad

2013-11-05 10:44:54

Chuck Trese

Same problem here. Ctrl-Shft-0 does not unhide a selected cell/column. Excel 2007 on Windows 7, using Lenovo ThinkPad T420, main keyboard, no Addins, no personal.xls macros, no Excel files loaded - just the default Book1 that Excel opens. Would love to know if someone can figure this out.

2013-11-05 09:11:07

Peg Molter

I have the same problem. CTRL-SHFT-0 does not work. Using the main keyboard, no add-ins loaded. Any ideas?

2013-11-05 08:36:46

John Palmer

I have the same problem and it is due to a logitech K320 wireless keyboard. My workaround is to put "unhide columns" on the quick access toolbar.

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