How To Print Gridlines in Excel

By default, the gridlines in your Excel don’t appear in a printed document. If you might want them to be visible on paper you can do it in two ways.

Do you want gridlines to show up when you print an Excel document? In this article, you can learn how to do just that. Let’s get started.

How To Print Gridlines in Excel


By default, the gridlines in your Excel projects don’t appear in a printed document. This keeps your papers clean, however, in some cases, you might want them to be visible on the paper. There are two ways to get this done, both of which are described below.

The process is quick and easy. All you have to do is follow our step-by-step guides and learn how to add gridlines when printing an Excel document.

Add Print gridlines on Excel for Windows

The steps below are used on Windows operating systems. Our guide was written using Excel 2019 — some steps in earlier versions may differ. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. Select the worksheet or worksheets that you want to print out. When multiple worksheets are selected, the text [Group] appears in the title bar at the top of the worksheet.

    Tip: Click any unselected worksheet to cancel the selection of more than one worksheet. If no unselected sheet is visible, right-click the tab of any selected sheet, and then click Ungroup Sheets.

  2. Switch to the Page Layout tab in the Ribbon interface on top of your software. Click on the Print check box under Gridlines.
    Add Print gridlines on Excel for Windows
  3. If the Print check box appears grayed out, you may have a chart, image, or other object selected in the worksheet. Cancel the selection and try to click the check box again.
  4. Next, switch to the File tab in the Ribbon, and then click Print. Alternatively, use the Ctrl + P keyboard shortcut to instantly jump to the function.
    Add Print gridlines on Excel for Windows
  5. Click on the Print button.

To preview how the gridlines will look in the printed document, press Ctrl + F2 to open the File tab, which displays a preview of the printed worksheet.

Keep in mind that gridlines only print around the data in a worksheet. Want to print gridlines around empty cells? Set the print area to include those cells.

Add Print gridlines on Excel for the Web

Microsoft allows you to use simplistic versions of Office online, for free. Luckily, printing is a feature kept in Excel Online, allowing you to print gridlines. At the time of writing, printing gridlines is not natively supported, but you can use borders as a workaround.

Here are the steps you need to follow to mimic gridlines and print them using the free Excel Online tool:

  1. Navigate to in your browser. Sign in with your Microsoft account, and then create a new Excel Online document or open an existing one.
  2. Click and drag your cursor to select all cells that you want to be included in printing. Make sure to select any empty cells you wish to use as gridlines.
    add print gridlines in Excel for Web
  3. Switch to the Home tab, and then click BordersAll Borders. You should notice the gridlines around the cells turn darker than the rest of the workbook.
    print excel gridlines in excel for web
  4. In the Ribbon header interface, click the File menu and then switch to the Print tab. Here, click on the Print button to see a preview of your worksheet.
    print excel for web with gridlines
  5. Using the preview, make sure the gridlines look the way you want them to and then click Print.
    print excel for web with gridlines
  6. To customize the gridlines, simply click on the Back to Workbook button and edit the borders around your cells. You can edit the color and style of the borders.

How to fix Excel gridlines not showing up when printing?

In some cases, you might fail to print gridlines in Excel. This can be caused by a few things, such as bad configuration or outdated drivers. Let’s see how to troubleshoot if the Excel gridlines don’t show up when printing.

Method 1. Turn off Draft quality

In the Windows version of Excel, you might run into complications with previewing gridlines in the printing window. This is caused by a feature called “draft quality”. Essentially, it reduces the quality to show a faster preview of how your document will look on paper, which may cause the gridlines to not appear.

To turn Draft quality off, follow the next steps:

  1. Switch to the Page Layout tab in your Ribbon interface. Click on the square in the corner of the Page Setup section, as shown in the image below.
    turn off draft quality
  2. Alternatively, use the Alt + P shortcut to enter the shortcut menu, press S, and then P on your keyboard to open the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Ensure that the check box next to Draft quality is empty. If the option is checked, simply click on the box again to remove the checkmark.
    turn off draft quality
  4. Click OK. Navigate back to the printing menu to see if the gridlines appear properly in the print preview.

Method 2. Update your printer drivers

If gridlines still don't print successfully, there may be an issue with your printer driver. In this case, download the latest driver from the printer manufacturer's website.

  1. First, check your printer manufacturer’s support site. To find it, search the internet for the name of your printer manufacturer and the word “support”.
    update your printer drivers
  2. Find the section for driver downloads. This is typically found on the manufacturer’s printer support page, or a separate downloads section.
    download printer drivers from manufacturer
  3. Acquire the up-to-date drivers for your printer, and then install them onto your device. You may be required to have administrative permissions to perform this step.

    Need help? Check out our How to make a local user an administrator in Windows 10 guide.

  4. After installing the new drivers, restart your computer and try printing an Excel document with gridlines again.

Final thoughts

If you need any further help with Excel, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team, available 24/7 to assist you. Return to us for more informative articles all related to productivity and modern-day technology!

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