How to Add Gridlines in Excel 2016: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding gridlines in Excel 2016 is easier than you think. Simply open your Excel workbook, select the ‘Page Layout’ tab, then check the ‘Gridlines’ box in the ‘Sheet Options’ group. That’s it! Now, you’ve got yourself a neat, organized spreadsheet with visible gridlines.

Once you have completed the action of adding gridlines, your data will be easier to read and analyze. Gridlines help to distinguish cells from one another, making it simpler to navigate through your data and reducing the chance of making errors whilst entering or reviewing information.


Excel 2016 is a powerhouse when it comes to organizing and analyzing data. Whether you’re a student crunching numbers for a school project or a business professional evaluating financial reports, Excel is the go-to tool for many. One aspect of Excel that can significantly enhance the readability and professionalism of your spreadsheets is the use of gridlines. Gridlines are the faint lines that appear around cells to distinguish them from one another.

They help to keep your data neat and aligned, which is crucial when dealing with large amounts of information. For some, the default settings in Excel may not include gridlines, or you may need to customize them for printing. That’s where knowing how to add gridlines comes in handy. It’s a simple yet effective way to take your spreadsheet from good to great. And let’s be honest, we all want spreadsheets that look as sharp as our data analysis skills, right?

How to Add Gridlines in Excel 2016

Before diving into the tutorial, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. The following steps will guide you on how to add gridlines in Excel 2016, which will help in improving the visibility of your data and make your spreadsheet more presentable.

Step 1: Open your Excel workbook

Opening your Excel workbook is your starting point. Double-click on your Excel file to open it or launch Excel and open your file from within the application.

Once you’ve opened your Excel workbook, you’re ready to start the process of adding gridlines. Ensure that you’re on the worksheet where you want the gridlines to appear.

Step 2: Select the ‘Page Layout’ tab

Find and select the ‘Page Layout’ tab from the Ribbon. The Ribbon is the toolbar that runs across the top of Excel with various tabs and options.

The ‘Page Layout’ tab is where you can find all the options related to how your document will look on the page. This includes settings for print areas, page breaks, and, of course, gridlines.

Step 3: Check the ‘Gridlines’ box in the ‘Sheet Options’ group

Under the ‘Sheet Options’ group on the ‘Page Layout’ tab, you’ll find a section labeled ‘Gridlines’. Check the box next to ‘View’ to add gridlines to your worksheet.

After checking the ‘Gridlines’ box, you should immediately see gridlines appear on your worksheet. If you want the gridlines to appear when you print, make sure to also check the ‘Print’ box under ‘Gridlines’.


Improved Data ReadabilityWith gridlines, each cell is clearly defined, which makes it easier to read and interpret the data.
Enhanced Spreadsheet AppearanceGridlines give a spreadsheet a more organized and professional look.
Reduced ErrorsClear demarcation of cells can help minimize errors when entering or reviewing data.


Can Make Sheets Look ClutteredIf a spreadsheet has a lot of data, gridlines can sometimes make it look too busy or cluttered.
May Not Be Suitable for All PrintingIn some cases, gridlines may not print well, especially if the printer quality is low, making the data hard to read.
Can Distract from the DataIf not used appropriately, gridlines can distract from the actual data, particularly if there’s a lot of color or conditional formatting involved.

Additional Information

In your journey to become an Excel 2016 whiz, knowing how to add gridlines is just the start. There are a few more tricks up the sleeve that can take your spreadsheet game to the next level. For instance, did you know you can customize the color of your gridlines? Yep, you can! Just head to the ‘Excel Options’ dialog box, click on ‘Advanced’, and under ‘Display options for this worksheet’, you can choose your preferred color for gridlines. This is particularly useful when you want to match the gridlines with the theme of your company or project.

Also, remember that gridlines won’t print by default, even when visible on your screen. To ensure they appear on the printed document, you must check the ‘Print’ option under ‘Gridlines’ in the ‘Sheet Options’ group. Additionally, if you’re working with charts, adding gridlines can make it easier to read and interpret the data points. It’s all about making that data pop and ensuring it’s as clear as a summer’s day.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Select the ‘Page Layout’ tab.
  3. Check the ‘Gridlines’ box in the ‘Sheet Options’ group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add gridlines to only specific cells?

Yes, you can add borders to specific cells to mimic gridlines. Just select the cells, go to the ‘Home’ tab, and click on the ‘Borders’ option.

Will adding gridlines affect my data?

No, adding gridlines will not affect your data. They are purely for visual aid.

Can I remove gridlines after adding them?

Absolutely! Just uncheck the ‘Gridlines’ box in the ‘Sheet Options’ group under the ‘Page Layout’ tab.

Can I change the color of gridlines in Excel 2016?

Yes, you can change the color by accessing ‘Excel Options’, clicking ‘Advanced’, and then selecting your desired color under ‘Display options for this worksheet’.

Do gridlines appear in all new Excel workbooks by default?

Gridlines typically appear by default, but this can vary based on your Excel settings or template used.


Mastering how to add gridlines in Excel 2016 is a nifty skill that can elevate your data presentation and make your spreadsheets look clean and professional. Whether it’s for easier data entry or to impress the boss with your meticulous reports, those little lines make a big difference.

Remember, it’s not just about having the data; it’s about presenting it in a way that’s both appealing and clear. With the tips and additional information provided, you’re well on your way to becoming an Excel aficionado. So go ahead, add those gridlines, and let your data shine!

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