print excel spreadsheet with lines

One of the commonest pain points that you are likely to face as a user of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets is the difficulty with printing your excel spreadsheet.

Most often than not, you will like to print the spreadsheet with the lines (gridlines). But unfortunately, Excel by default ignores the gridlines that you see when printing. 

It is, however, not difficult to set your Excel workbook or worksheet to print with the gridlines.

If you want to print your spreadsheet and make the gridlines appear then this post will present to you the various methods you can use to achieve that outcome.

There are about three different methods that you can use to print the gridlines on your Excel spreadsheet. These methods are:

  1. Using Sheet options under page layout
  2. Using page setup on print preview
  3. Using page setup launcher tool
Here is a sample Excel spreadsheet that we would like to print.
sample data for print with gridlines

As you can see, by default the excel spreadsheet has gridlines showing but unfortunately when you decide to print, the gridlines disappear. To illustrate what I mean, let’s try printing this spreadsheet.

To print the spreadsheet, click on File, then print or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P. The print preview page shows the data without the gridlines as shown below:

This means that when you go ahead to print this, there will be no gridlines as shown in the print preview.

Let’s take the various methods one after the other and see how you can use them to print your worksheets with grid lines.

Method 1: How to print Excel spreadsheet with gridlines using the Sheet options under page layout

In order to print the gridlines using the sheet options follow the steps below:

  • Click on the Page Layout tab
  • Look for Gridlines under the sheet options 
  • There are two options under the gridlines (view and print)
  • View is checked by default and that is why your excel spreadsheet shows the gridlines
  • The print option hasn’t been checked by default. That is why Excel doesn’t print gridlines by default.
  • Click within the checkbox to check the Print option for gridlines as shown below:
print excel data with gridlines
print excel data with gridlines
print excel data with gridlines
print excel data with gridlines

After checking the checkbox for print under gridlines in the sheet options, you can go ahead and print the spreadsheet. This time around, the print preview will show the gridlines to be printed with the spreadsheet.

  • Click on File then print or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P to bring up the print preview.
print preview with gridlines
Excel print preview now showing gridlines

Now the print preview is showing the gridlines so if you go ahead to print it, the document will be printed with the gridlines.

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Method 2: How to print Excel spreadsheet with gridlines using page setup on print preview

The second method to print spreadsheets with gridlines involves doing some page setup settings on the print preview page. Using the same data sample used above, follow the steps below.

Here is the sample data
sample data for print with gridlines demonstration
sample data for print with gridlines demonstration
  • Click on File
  • Click on Print on the left menu panel
  • Or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P to bring up the print page preview 
  • Click on page setup as shown below
page setup gridlines excel
page setup gridlines excel
  • Click on the sheets tab on the pop up that comes up
  • Click within the checkbox for gridlines
  • Click on OK
  • The preview now shows gridlines and the printed work will be with the gridlines
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page setup for printing excel
page setup for printing excel
page setup for printing excel checked gridlines
page setup for printing excel checked gridlines

Method 3: How to print Excel spreadsheet with gridlines using page setup launcher tool

With this method, you will use the page setup launcher and this can be done through the dialog box launcher tool from the page layout tab. Follow the steps below to print the gridlines on your spreadsheet.

Firstly, select the part of the spreadsheet that you would want to print. This can be achieved by clicking and dragging your mouse over the part of the spreadsheet to be printed. If you want to print the entire spreadsheet then use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + A

Click on the Page layout tab which is located in between the insert and formulas tabs.

Locate the Page setup group of tools and click on the dialog launcher as indicated in the image below:

Upon clicking on the dialog box icon, it launches the dialog box as illustrated below

Go ahead and click on the Sheet tab on the dialog box that opens.

Locate the print section on the Sheet tab page. You will find the following details under the Print section: 

  • Gridlines
  • Black and White
  • Draft quality
  • Row and column headings

Tick the checkbox beside Gridlines in order to ensure that the spreadsheet prints with the lines showing. After ticking the checkbox, you can click on the Print Preview button to preview how your spreadsheet will look like when printed out.

This is how the print preview will look like.

Conclusion

In conclusion, all the three methods shared in this post can be used to achieve the same result. Some are simpler than the others but at the end of the day, it is all above user preferences and other options that are available with each method. 

I, therefore, encourage you to go through all the three methods and choose the one that works best for you by providing you with all you will want when printing your spreadsheet with gridlines.

You may also be interested in How to convert a PDF to Excel spreadsheet

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