Printing Gridlines by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 14, 2018)

When Kenneth prints a worksheet, 99% of the time he prefers printing it with gridlines. However, the gridlines check box (on the Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box) is not selected by default. Kenneth wonders if there is a way to change this setting so that it is always selected.

There are actually a couple of different ways you can approach this task. If you want all of your future workbooks or worksheets to have the gridlines turned on by default, start by create a default workbook and worksheet that Excel will rely on when creating these. How you do this has been covered in other ExcelTips, such as this one:

Creating Default Formatting for Workbooks and Worksheets

Note that this approach affects all newly created worksheets or workbooks; it doesn't affect any that were previously created. If you want to affect those, you might want to consider a simple macro to turn on the gridlines. This could be assigned to either a shortcut key or to the Quick Access Toolbar. Here's an example of one that turns on the gridlines:

Sub GridlinesOn()
    ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintGridlines = True
End Sub

That's it—a single line. You can, if desired, also get fancier with the macro so that it toggles the gridlines and displays their state. Here's an example:

Sub GridlinesToggle()
    Dim sStatus As String

    sStatus = "OFF"
    With ActiveSheet.PageSetup
        .PrintGridlines = Not .PrintGridlines
        If .PrintGridlines Then sStatus = "ON"
    End With
    Msgbox "The gridlines are now " & sStatus
End Sub

Finally, you could also create a macro that makes sure the gridlines are turned on and then prints the current worksheet. This requires adding a single line to the earlier macro that turned on the gridlines:

Sub PrintGridlines()
    ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintGridlines = True
    ActiveSheet.PrintOut
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13515) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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