Shortcuts to Hide Columns

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 5, 2019)


Tom notes that in older versions of Excel he would use Ctrl+0 to 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 later versions of Excel. 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. Probably a more likely reason the second shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+0) doesn't work is because this keypress is being used by the Windows operating system for use in switching language keyboards. The following Microsoft Support article explains the process to go through in order to reassign this keypress back to Excel to unhide columns in earlier versions of Microsoft Windows:

If you are using the Windows 10 operating system, follow these steps to reassign the Ctrl+Shift+0 shortcut back to Excel:

  1. Type "Advanced Keyboard Settings" (without the quotes) in the Search box at the left of the Taskbar. Windows displays the Advanced Keyboard Settings window of the Settings dialog box.
  2. Click on Language Bar Options. Windows displays the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Advanced Key Settings tab is displayed.
  4. Click the Change Key Sequence button. Windows displays the Change Key Sequence dialog box.
  5. Select something other than " Ctrl+Shift" in the second column of the dialog box. If you don't use this feature, "Not Assigned" is the best option.

You will now be able to use Ctrl+Shift+0 to unhide the columns.

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, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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. ...


Hyphenating Your Document

One of the final touches you can add to a document is to hyphenate it. This allows text to flow more smoothly from line ...

Discover More

Sorting an Entire List

Need to sort all the data in a table? Here's the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Discover More

Underlining Cells, Not Space Between Cells

Word provides a couple of ways you can underline information, including underlining table cells and their contents. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Hiding and Unhiding Columns

Want to hide a column so it doesn't appear in the worksheet? It's easy to do using the formatting capabilities of Excel.

Discover More

Sizing Columns and Rows Using the Keyboard

Are you a keyboard-only user wondering how you can set column width or row height without using the mouse? This tip ...

Discover More

Hiding Columns Not within a Date Range

Want to automatically hide some columns that don't meet a date criterion that you set? You can't do it automatically, but ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 3?

2018-05-23 19:42:57

Bob Ama

I still use the old menu screen alt combinations.

press & release one key at a time:
alt o c h (alt fOrmat Columns Hide) to hide the selected columns.
alt o c u (alt fOrmat Columns Unhide) to unhide the selected columns.

You don't need to select the entire column, just at least one cell in each column you wish to hide/unhide.

It's similar commands for hiding/unhiding rows.
alt o r h to hide the selected rows.
alt o r u to unhide them.

2018-05-23 12:29:30

Frank Butler

Here's step by step to disable the Ctrl+Shift keyboard mapping in Windows so Ctrl+Shift+0 works:

+ In current Windows 10:
+ Settings
+ Region & Language
+ Advanced Keyboard Settings
+ Language Bar Options

+ In earlier Windows versions:
+ Control Panel
+ All Control Panel Items
+ Language
+ Advanced Settings
+ Change Language Bar Hot Keys

+ From BOTH of the above continue with:
+ Advanced Key Settings
+ Change Key Sequence
+ Switch Keyboard Layout
+ select something other than "Ctrl+Shift"
+ if you don't use this feature "Not Assigned" is suggested

2018-05-23 10:26:53

Craig Bower

Ctrl+Shft+0 is hijacked by Windows operating systems after Vista for use in switching language keyboards. Follow the steps in this Microsoft support article to give it back to Excel:

I just followed these steps and now can use Ctrl+Shft+0 to unhide columns.

2018-05-23 08:25:24

Jennifer Thomas

A thank you to Steve for the idea about grouping . I've used grouping in other ways but didn't think of it as just a simple way to hide/unhide columns!

In my environment, we have some novice users that will get confused by hidden items, especially columns, so I like that your method puts a nice big visual hint on the screen so that users will both notice the hidden columns and intuit how to show them again.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 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.

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.