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How to Show Grid Lines When Printing in Microsoft Excel

Updated June 01, 2017

In Microsoft Excel 2007, grid lines are automatically displayed in worksheets; however, grid lines do not print automatically on a worksheet. If you want to print the grid lines on a worksheet, you have to change the Page Layout settings. In addition, people often confuse the cell borders in a worksheet with the grid lines in Excel. Grid lines are not the same as borders and cannot be customised in the same way that you would customise a border.

Open the worksheet or worksheets in Excel that you wish to print. You can do this by clicking on the

worksheet tab at the bottom of the screen. To select more than one worksheet, after you select the first worksheet, press Shift and then select the second or multiple worksheets.

Go to the "Page Layout" tab on your menu bar for Microsoft Excel 97-2003 or interface for Microsoft Excel 2007.

Select the "Sheet Options" group and click on the "Print" check box under "Gridlines."

Preview the grid lines to view how they will print by pressing the "Ctrl+F2" keys to open the Print Preview window. Remember that grid lines are only designed to print around inputted data in a worksheet. To print grid lines around empty cells you must change the print area.

Select the empty cells on the worksheet that you want to include with grid lines as well. Go to the "Page Layout" tab. In the "Page Setup" group, select "Print Area" and then click "Add to Print Area."

Go to the Microsoft Excel button for the 2007 version and click "Print." For Excel 97-2003, go to the menu and select "Print."

Go to "Page Setup" and "Sheet" tab. Make sure that the "Draft" quality box is not checked.

Download the latest driver for your printer from the manufacturer's website if the grid lines still are not printing. Sometimes a problem with the printer driver interferes with printing instructions.

Change and apply borders to the cells if you are having trouble with grid lines.

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About the Author

Based in Huntington Beach, Calif., Dana Schafer has been writing environmental articles and grant proposals since 2006. Schafer has written for Grace Unlimited Corporation and Youth Have Vision. Schafer is in the process of receiving a Master of Science in biology from California State University, Long Beach.