How to Print Empty Gridlines in Excel (An Easy 5 Step Guide)

Microsoft Excel has a lot of uses, both at home and at work. One way that you can use it is when you’re writing a checklist or an inventory. But you may be having trouble trying to figure out how to print empty gridlines in Excel since Excel doesn’t like to print cells that don’t have anything in them.

How to Print a Blank Excel Sheet with Gridlines

  1. Open Excel and create a new blank workbook.
  2. Select the cells that you want to print.
  3. Click the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.
  4. Click the Print Area button, then choose the Set Print Area option.
  5. Check the box to the left of Print under Gridlines in the Sheet Options section of the ribbon.

The steps in this article are going to show you how to format a blank Excel spreadsheet so that it will print, with gridlines.

We covered the steps briefly at the top of this guide, then we will continue further below with additional information and pictures for the steps.

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets have long been difficult to print in a manner that makes them easy to read. You can adjust a number of options to fix this, however, such as choosing to print your data with gridlines.

But even if you have gone through the various Page Setup menus in Excel and made all of the necessary changes, none of it is going to matter if you are trying to print a blank spreadsheet. Luckily this is something that you can do, but you need to take an extra step first. So continue reading below to find out how to print a blank Excel sheet with gridlines.

Our how to remove page 1 watermark in Excel guide can show you ways to add or remove watermarks on your spreadsheets.

How to Print a Blank Excel Grid With Gridlines (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel 2013, but the same method will work in most other versions of Excel. The situations where I ‘m typically printing gridlines on a blank spreadsheet are when I am performing a task where I need to write information into a grid format, such as taking a manual inventory, or keeping track of information where I don’t have a computer.

Essentially what we are doing in the guide below is manually defining the size of the spreadsheet, then adding gridlines.

Typically Excel defines the size of your spreadsheet by the cells that contain data, then it prints those cells. When you try to print a worksheet that doesn’t contain any data, Excel isn’t going to print anything. By setting a Print Area we are forcing Excel to print the defined range of cells that we need.

Step 1: Open Excel and choose to create a new workbook.

Step 2: Click on the top-left cell that you want to include in the blank grid, then drag your mouse to select the rest of the cells to include in the blank spreadsheet.

select the cells to print

Step 3: Select the Page Layout tab at the top of the window.

click the Page Layout tab

Step 4: Click the Print Area button in the Page Setup section of the ribbon, then choose the Set Print Area option.

set the print area

Step 5: Click the check box to the left of Print under Gridlines in the Sheet Options section of the ribbon.

how to print a blank Excel worksheet with gridlines

You should now be able to click the File tab and then click Print to see a preview of how the blank sheet will look. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P to get to this Print menu instead.

The resulting printout should be a blank Excel worksheet containing the number of blank rows and blank columns that you specified when you set the print area.

Now that you know how to print empty gridlines in Excel you can proceed to make more adjustments to the formatting of the empty grid so that it better suits your needs.

You can learn how to make Excel gridlines darker if you find that the current line color is too light to be able to see it easily.

More information on How to Format an Empty Excel Grid for Printing

If you want to make some additional changes to your grid’s formatting, you can find many of those options by clicking the small Page Setup dialog button at the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup section of the ribbon. This opens the Page Setup dialog box.

click the Page Setup button

There you will find the menu shown below, where you will see a Page tab, a Margins tab, a Header/Footer tab, and a Sheet tab. The options on these tabs let you do things like set the orientation of the page, add information that repeats on each printed page, or specify the number of pages that the empty cells and blank rows should fit onto.

Excel Page Setup menu

You can achieve a similar result if you choose to add cell borders rather than enabling the print option for gridlines. The Borders options are found on the Home tab, in the Font section of the ribbon. You are going to want to select the All Borders option.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making a Blank Printable Spreadsheet in Excel

How to print an Excel spreadsheet with lines?

While the focus of this article has been on printing empty spreadsheets, you may also need to customize the sheet a bit before you get the layout that you want.

You can print spreadsheet with lines in Microsoft Excel by selecting the Page Layout tab at the top of the window, then checking the box next to Print under the Gridlines section.

Note that Excel only prints cells that have data in them by default, so you will also need to set a print area for your spreadsheet if you want to print empty cells.

Can I print a blank spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel?

An excel spreadsheet will only print cells that include information inside of them, so you need to create a print area if you want to make a blank spreadsheet printable in Excel.

You can make a print area by selecting the cells you want to print, clicking the Page Layout tab at the top of the window, selecting the Print Area button, then clicking Set Print Area.

How do I fit my empty spreadsheet on one page in Excel?

After you have made a print area and enabled gridlines, you may discover that your spreadsheet is a little too big to fit on one page.

Rather than trying to fix this manually, you can click the File tab at the top of the window, select the Print tab at the left side of the window, then click the No Scaling button and choose the Fit Sheet on One Page option.

Alternatively, you could select the Fit All Columns on One Page or the Fit All Rows on One Page if you only want to control those ranges.

Additional Reading