Excel Tutorial: How To Make Gridlines Darker In Excel


Gridlines are an essential feature in Excel that help users easily navigate and organize data in their spreadsheets. By default, gridlines are displayed in a light color, which may not be suitable for all users. In this tutorial, we will provide a brief overview of how to adjust the gridline color to make them darker for better visibility and organization of your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Gridlines are essential for navigating and organizing data in Excel spreadsheets.
  • Adjusting gridline color can improve visibility and data organization.
  • Access the Page Layout tab to change gridline color and customize gridlines.
  • Themes can be used to change gridline color and enhance overall spreadsheet appearance.
  • Saving custom gridline settings allows for easy application to new workbooks.

Accessing the Page Layout tab

Excel offers a variety of customization options to enhance the appearance of your spreadsheets, including the ability to adjust gridlines. Here’s how you can locate the Page Layout tab and make the gridlines darker:

A. Step-by-step guide to locating the Page Layout tab in Excel
  • Open Microsoft Excel and navigate to the spreadsheet you want to work on.
  • Look for the ribbon at the top of the window. The ribbon contains several tabs, including Home, Insert, Formulas, Data, Review, and View.
  • Locate the Page Layout tab. The tabs are organized from left to right, with Page Layout typically appearing after the Formulas tab.
  • Click on the Page Layout tab to access its features.

B. The purpose of the Page Layout tab in Excel

The Page Layout tab in Excel is a crucial tool for customizing the appearance of your spreadsheet. It provides options for adjusting page orientation, margins, size, and print titles. Additionally, it allows users to control the appearance of gridlines, which can greatly enhance the readability of the data.

Now you have accessed the Page Layout tab, you are ready to make the gridlines darker. Watch out for our next blog post to learn how!

Changing gridline color

Excel allows users to customize the appearance of gridlines, including changing their color to make them darker or more distinct. This feature can make it easier to read and interpret data in your spreadsheets.

Step-by-step instructions on changing gridline color

  • Select the worksheet: Open the Excel worksheet in which you want to change the gridline color.
  • Go to the "Page Layout" tab: At the top of Excel, click on the "Page Layout" tab to access the Page Layout options.
  • Click on "Gridlines": In the Sheet Options group, locate the "Gridlines" option and click on it. This will open a drop-down menu with different gridline options.
  • Choose a darker color: From the drop-down menu, select a darker color for the gridlines. You can choose from the pre-defined color options or select "More Gridline Colors" to customize the color further.
  • Apply the changes: Once you have selected the desired gridline color, the changes will be automatically applied to the worksheet.

Additional options for customizing gridlines in Excel

In addition to changing the color of gridlines, Excel offers other options for customizing gridlines to suit your preferences.

  • Adjusting gridline style: You can change the style of the gridlines, such as making them dashed or dotted, by clicking on "More Gridline Options" in the Gridlines drop-down menu.
  • Changing gridline thickness: If you want to make the gridlines thicker or thinner, you can adjust the line weight in the Format Cells dialog box under the Border tab.
  • Hiding gridlines: If you prefer not to display gridlines at all, you can toggle their visibility on and off using the Gridlines option in the Page Layout tab.

Using themes to change gridline color

When working with Excel, the appearance of your spreadsheet can have a significant impact on its readability and overall professional look. One way to enhance the visual appeal of your Excel worksheet is by adjusting the gridline color, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by utilizing themes.

A. Explanation of how themes can affect gridline color

Themes in Excel are a collection of formatting choices that include colors, fonts, and effects. These themes can be applied to your entire workbook, which means they can also affect the color of your gridlines. By changing the theme, you can quickly and easily alter the appearance of your gridlines, making them darker or lighter to suit your preferences or the specific needs of your data.

B. Tips for selecting the right theme to enhance gridlines

When selecting a theme to enhance your gridlines, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the overall look: Think about the overall aesthetic you want to achieve with your spreadsheet. If you're aiming for a sleek, modern look, you might opt for a theme with dark gridlines to create a more defined and structured appearance.
  • Contrast with data: It's important to consider the contrast between your gridlines and the data in your spreadsheet. If your data is light-colored, darker gridlines can help improve visibility and make it easier to distinguish between cells.
  • Test different options: Excel offers a variety of built-in themes, so don't be afraid to experiment with different options to see which one best enhances your gridlines and improves the overall appearance of your spreadsheet.

Applying gridline formatting to specific cells or ranges

When working with Excel, it's important to ensure that your data is presented in a clear and visually appealing manner. One way to achieve this is by customizing the gridlines for specific cells or ranges within your spreadsheet.

Instructions for applying gridline formatting to specific cells or ranges

  • Select the cells or range: Before applying gridline formatting, select the specific cells or range that you want to customize.
  • Open the Format Cells dialog: Right-click on the selected cells and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog.
  • Navigate to the Border tab: In the Format Cells dialog, navigate to the "Border" tab. This is where you can customize the gridline formatting for the selected cells or range.
  • Choose the line style and color: In the Border tab, you can select the line style and color for the gridlines. You can also choose to apply different formatting to specific sides of the cells, such as the top, bottom, left, or right border.
  • Apply the formatting: Once you have customized the gridline formatting according to your preferences, click "OK" to apply the changes to the selected cells or range.

The benefits of customizing gridlines for specific data sets

Customizing gridlines for specific data sets in Excel offers several benefits, including improved data presentation and visual clarity.

The benefits of customizing gridlines for specific data sets

  • Enhanced visual organization: By customizing the gridlines for specific cells or ranges, you can improve the visual organization of your data. This can make it easier for you and your audience to interpret and understand the information presented in the spreadsheet.
  • Emphasis on important data: Customized gridline formatting can help to draw attention to important data points or specific ranges within the spreadsheet. This can be particularly useful when presenting key findings or insights from the data.
  • Professional presentation: Customizing gridlines demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism in Excel spreadsheets. It shows that you have taken the time to consider the visual presentation of your data, which can enhance the overall quality of your work.

Tips for saving custom gridline settings in Excel

Customizing gridline settings in Excel can help enhance the readability and visual appeal of your spreadsheets. However, the default gridline settings may not always meet your preferences. In such cases, saving your custom gridline settings can save time and effort for future use. Here are some tips for saving custom gridline settings in Excel:

  • Customize gridline settings: Before saving your custom gridline settings, you need to customize the gridlines according to your preferences. This includes changing the line color, style, and thickness.
  • Save as a template: Once you have customized the gridline settings, you can save the workbook as a template for future use. This will preserve the gridline settings for new workbooks created from the template.
  • Use a macro: Another option is to use a macro to save the custom gridline settings. By recording a macro that applies the desired gridline settings, you can easily apply it to new workbooks.

How to apply saved gridline settings to new workbooks

After saving your custom gridline settings, you may want to apply them to new workbooks. Here's how you can do it:

  • Open the template: If you saved the custom gridline settings as a template, you can open the template whenever you want to create a new workbook with the same gridline settings.
  • Apply the macro: If you used a macro to save the custom gridline settings, you can apply the macro to new workbooks to quickly apply the saved gridline settings.


Gridlines are an essential visual aid in Excel, helping users to maintain clarity and structure in their spreadsheets. By adjusting and customizing the gridlines, users can enhance the readability and organization of their data.

  • Recap: Gridlines provide a visual guide for easily identifying and differentiating cells, rows, and columns in Excel.
  • Summary: To make gridlines darker in Excel, go to the "View" tab, select "Gridlines" and choose the preferred line color and style. Additionally, adjust the gridline color and weight under the "Page Layout" tab to further customize the appearance.

By following these key tips, users can effectively adjust and customize the gridlines in Excel to better suit their preferences and improve the overall visual presentation of their spreadsheets.

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