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How to Hide Cells in Excel ( 4 Easy Ways)

August 21, 2023 1.8K views

Hiding cells in Excel is a powerful way to manage and protect your data. Throughout this guide, you'll explore various methods to achieve this. Share your insights and experiences after trying each method.

Part 1: How to Hide Individual Cell Content in Excel with Format Cells

Hiding specific cell content in Excel can be your secret weapon for data privacy. Whether you're using Windows or Mac, we've got you covered:

Step 1: Select the Cells

Begin by selecting the cells whose content you want to hide. Simply click and drag your cursor over the desired cells.

Fomat cells


Step 2: Access the "Format Cells" Dialog

the "Format Cells" Dialog


Step 3: Choose Custom Number Format

In the Format Cells dialog, navigate to the "Number" tab. Select the "Custom" category.

Step 4: Set the Custom Format

In the "Type" box, enter three semicolons (;;;) without the quotation marks. This format tells Excel to display nothing in the cell.

Set the Custom Format


Step 5: Confirm and Apply

Click "OK" to apply the custom format and hide the cell content. Voila! Your cell content is now hidden.

Format (;;;)


Tips:

  • To unhide the cell content, simply click Delete.

  • You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1 (Windows) or Command+1 (Mac) to open the Format Cells dialog box.

  • Hidden cells will still be visible in the formula bar.

  • To find hidden cells, you can use the Go To dialog box. On the Home tab, click Find & Select > Go To. In the Go To dialog box, select Special and then select Hidden Cells. Click OK.

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Go to function on Home tab


I found this method really handy when working on private data, keeping sensitive information secure. Unhiding with the "Delete" key was simple too. The tip about using "Find and Replace" to locate hidden cells was a great trick for managing my hidden content effectively.

Part 2: Hide Cells by Hiding Rows or Columns in Excel

Delve into the realm of Excel's row and column hiding techniques, where you'll master the art of collectively concealing multiple cells. Discover the ease and efficiency of hiding entire rows or columns, making your spreadsheet neater and more streamlined.

Method 1: Using Shortcut

Streamline the process with handy shortcuts, tailored for both Windows and Mac users:

  • Windows Shortcut: Press "Ctrl" + "9"

  • Mac Shortcut: Press "Command" + "9"

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1. Select the row(s) or column(s) you wish to hide.

Step 2. Use the respective shortcut for your operating system.

Hide Cells


Step 3. Watch as the selected rows or columns gracefully disappear

I found the shortcuts to be a quick and easy way to hide rows or columns. They were especially useful when I only needed to hide a few rows or columns. However, I found it difficult to remember the shortcuts for hiding columns, so I had to look them up each time I needed to use them.

Method 2: Hide Cells in Excel with Plus Sign Button

This method adds a visual touch to your data management, allowing you to hide and reveal rows or columns effortlessly.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1. Choose the row(s) or column(s) you want to hide.

Step 2. Click the plus sign (+) button located on the top bar.

Click the plus sign (+)


Step 3. Instantly, your chosen rows or columns will collapse under the plus sign.

Unhiding Tip: To restore hidden rows or columns, simply click the minus sign (-) button next to the plus sign.

Click the plus sign (-)


I found the plus sign button to be a convenient way to hide and unhide rows or columns. It was especially useful when I needed to hide or unhide rows or columns frequently. I also found that the plus sign button was easy to remember, so I didn't have to look it up each time I needed to use it.

Method 3: Hide Cells in Excel Without Plus Sign Button

This method offers versatility, allowing you to hide cells without the use of the plus sign.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1. Select the row(s) or column(s) you wish to hide.

Step 2. Right-click on the selection and choose "Hide."

choose "Hide"


Step 3. Watch as the chosen rows or columns vanish from view.

Unhiding Tip: To reveal the hidden rows or columns, right-click on the visible rows or columns adjacent to the hidden ones and choose "Unhide."

choose "Unhide"


I found the Format Cells dialog box to be the most versatile way to hide rows or columns. It gave me more control over how rows or columns were hidden, and I could use it to hide rows or columns that were protected or that contained formulas. However, I I realize that  the Format Cells dialog box to be the least user-friendly of the three methods, and it took me a few tries to figure out how to use it correctly.

Comparing Methods:

The three methods for hiding rows or columns in Excel are suitable for different situations, depending on how the reader wants to hide his Excel cells.

  • Shortcuts are the quickest way to hide rows or columns. They are especially useful if you only need to hide a few rows or columns.

  • The plus sign button is a convenient way to hide and unhide rows or columns. It is especially useful if you need to hide or unhide rows or columns frequently.

  • The Format Cells dialog box gives you more control over how rows or columns are hidden. You can use it to hide rows or columns that are protected or to hide rows or columns that contain formulas.

Ultimately, the best method for hiding rows or columns in Excel is the method that works best for the reader's specific needs.

Part 3: How to Edit Excel, Word, PowerPoint for Free?

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WPS Office is a free and open-source office suite that is fully compatible with Microsoft Office files. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software, all of which can be used to edit Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files.

WPS Office is a great option for people who want to edit Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files without having to pay for Microsoft Office. It is free to use, fully compatible with Microsoft Office files, and available on Windows and Mac.

Pros of WPS Office:

  • Compatibility: It works on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing you to work from various devices.

  • Complete Suite: It includes word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDF tools.

  • Templates: Access a variety of templates to enhance document creation.

  • Collaboration: It supports real-time online document collaboration.

Cons of WPS Office:

  • Macros and VBA: Limited support for macros and VBA.

In short, WPS Office offers a cost-effective suite with diverse benefits, making it a strong choice for basic document needs. While it has a few limitations, its compatibility and feature set make it valuable for efficient document management.

Steps to Edit Word/Excel/Powerpoint in WPS

To edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files in WPS, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Download and install WPS Office on your computer.

WPS Office icon


Step 2. Open the WPS Office app.

WPS Office Function


Step 3. Click on the "File" menu and select "Open".

Step 4. Browse to the location of the Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file that you want to edit.

Step 5. Click on the file to open it in WPS Office.

Step 6. Make your edits to the file.

Step 7. When you are finished editing, click on the "File" menu and select "Save".

WPS Office file format


Download Method

You can download WPS Office from the WPS Office website. The download is free and the installation process is simple.

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FAQs

Q1: How to Unhide All Rows and Columns in Excel?

To unhide all rows: Right-click on a row number, then choose "Unhide."

To unhide all columns: Right-click on a column letter, then choose "Unhide."

You can also use shortcuts:

  • Unhide rows: Ctrl + Shift + 9

  • Unhide columns: Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero)

Q2: How to Add a Row or Column in Excel Using a Shortcut?

To add a row or column in Excel using a shortcut:

  • To add a row above: Select a row, then press "Ctrl" + "+" (plus sign).

  • To add a row below: Select a row, then press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "+" (plus sign).

  • To add a column to the left: Select a column, then press "Ctrl" + "+" (plus sign).

  • To add a column to the right: Select a column, then press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "+" (plus sign).

These shortcuts will quickly insert a new row or column in the selected location.

Summary

In this guide, we've covered various methods to hide cell content in Excel, including individual cells and entire rows or columns. Alongside these techniques, the spotlight is on WPS Office, a budget-friendly alternative that boasts cross-platform compatibility, a full suite of applications, and user-friendly features, making it a compelling choice for efficient document management and editing across different devices.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.