How to Turn Off Gridlines in Google Sheets

Dave | November 18, 2022 |

If you want to hide gridlines in Google Sheets, you need to open the View menu and select Show and then ensure the Gridlines option is unticked. Hiding gridlines only affects the current sheet.

That’s it! Simple right?

Here’s a screenshot of where you can find the option.

Google Sheets View > Show menu with Gridlines highlighted
The option to remove gridlines is in the View > Show menu

Why would you want to turn gridlines off? I can’t think of a practical example at the moment other than that you might have taken to making pixel art pictures in sheets. If that’s the case, then gridlines are going to spoil the view.

A Google Sheets mosaic picture with gridlines turned on
A stunning mosaic with grid lines turned on
A Google Sheets mosaic picture with gridlines turned off
He looks much happier without gridlines!

The thing is, gridlines are useful when you’re working. It’s sometimes hard to locate exactly where you want to click with them turned off. Especially if you’re trying to make pictures (like the ones above).

How to hide gridlines for printing only

If you need gridlines to show whilst you work on the sheet, but disappear when you are printing, then there is a specific option for this on the print screen. When you are ready to print, go the File menu and click Print or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+p (Windows, ChromeOS) or + p (Mac).

When the print settings screen opens, on the right-hand side, towards the bottom, you will see a Formatting menu. Click the small downward arrow to expand these options. Then ensure that Show grid lines is not ticked and your printed file will not have gridlines.

Google Sheets print screen with gridlines showing
Click the downward arrow to open the formatting options
Google Sheets print settings dialog with 'show grid lines' unticked
Ensure Show grid lines is unticked

Can you show gridlines on only part of a Google Sheet?

No. There isn’t an inbuilt feature of Google Sheets to allow this, however you can simulate it by using cell borders.

To use cell borders to simulate gridlines you need to open the borders menu from the toolbar Borders toolbar button and then open the color options and select light grey 1. Leave the border line thickness at the default (the top one in the list).

The borders menu with light grey 1 color selected
Light grey 1 border

Finally, select the region of cells you want to simulate gridlines on, open the borders menu and select All bordersBorders toolbar button. When this is done you’ll get the effect we have in our example below where rows 2 and 3 have light grey 1 borders. I can hardly tell the difference.

There may be a more exact color match, but for speed, and ease of use, light grey 1 is a default and easily selectable color.

Simulated gridlines using border color light grey 1
Rows 2 and 3 have light grey 1 borders – See the difference?
Simulated gridlines using light grey 1 borders with gridlines off
Simulated gridlines on part of a sheet

I'm a Google Product Expert and mainly post on the subject of Google Sheets.

I've been a software engineer for over 20 years. The constant through all that time? Spreadheets.... Even though I can write programs I use them.... a lot. Sometimes there's just no better alternative!

Find out more about me here.

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