How to Make Gridlines Darker in Excel 2016

If you are having difficulty seeing the lines that separate the cells in your spreadsheet, then you might try to change the brightness on the screen, or maybe zoom in a bit.

But there is a way to make those lines a bit easier to see. The steps in this guide will show you how to make gridlines darker in Excel 2016.

How to Darken Gridlines in Microsoft Excel

  1. Click the File tab at the top-left of the window.
  2. Select the Options button at the bottom of the left column.
  3. Choose the Advanced tab.
  4. Scroll down to the Display options for this worksheet section, then click the Gridline color button.
  5. Select a darker color.
  6. Click the OK button.

Our guide continues below with additional information on how to make gridlines darker in Excel, including pictures of these steps.

Microsoft applications like Word and Excel have ways for you to show or remove the gridlines from view.

If you are having trouble viewing the gridlines on your screen or when you print your spreadsheet, then you may be looking for a way to make the gridlines darker in Excel 2016.

Luckily this is an option that you can adjust through the Excel Options menu in the application. Our tutorial below will show you how.

How to Use Darker Gridlines in Excel 2016 (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel for Office 365, but will also work in other newer versions of Microsoft Excel, such as Excel 2016.

Step 1: Open your file in Microsoft Excel.

Step 2: Click the File tab at the top-left of the window.

This is going to take you to a part of the Excel user interface called “Backstage View.” This is where you go to save files, print them, and more.

click the File tab

Step 3: Click the Options button at the bottom of the column on the left side of the window.

click the Options button

Step 4: Select the Advanced tab at the left side of the Excel Options window.

select the Advanced tab

Step 5: Scroll down to the Display options for this worksheet section of the menu, then click the button to the right of Gridline color.

how to make gridlines darker in Excel 2016

Step 6: Choose a darker color from the color picker, then click the OK button at the bottom of the menu.

Now that you know how to make gridlines darker in Excel you will be able to adjust this setting in the future if the current color becomes too light for you, or if you are using Microsoft Excel on another computer where the gridline color hasn’t been adjusted.

Find out how to print a blank spreadsheet in Excel if you need a blank grid so that you can write in it.

Our tutorial continues below with additional discussion about changing the gridline darkness in an Excel spreadsheet.

How to Use Borders to Make Excel Gridlines Easier to See

Another option that you have for making the gridlines darker doesn’t actually involve changing a setting for the gridlines. You can select all of the cells where you want to use a darker color, then click the arrow to the right the Borders button on the Home tab.

You can then select the All Borders option from this drop-down menu.

apply all borders to selected cells

Re-open that menu again, choose the Line color option at the bottom of the menu, then select the desired color.

change the border line color

An unwanted watermark in Excel can be frustrating, so read our guide on how to remove a watermark in an Excel spreadsheet.

More Information on Increasing Excel Gridline Visibility

While electing to learn how to make gridlines darker in Excel can make them easier to see, it’s also useful to know how to hide them, or how to include them when you go to print a spreadsheet.

If you would like to hide the gridlines from view for a worksheet you can go to the View tab at the top of the window, then uncheck the box to the left of Gridlines in the Show group of the ribbon.

There are also display options in that section for the Ruler, Formula Bar, and Headings.

If you would like to include the gridlines when you print, then you can select the Page Layout tab at the top of the window, and find the Sheet Options group. Here you can select the boxes to the left of View or Print under Gridlines to adjust those settings.

The default color setting for the grid line color in an Excel spreadsheet is usually a light gray color, in case you have been making a lot of changes to this setting and want to get it back to normal.

When you change the color of the grid lines it will affect the entire sheet. If you don’t want to change the line color or line style of the entire worksheet, then you will likely have more success by choosing to format cells using the options in the Font group.

Additional Reading