The tutorial shows three different ways to hide rows in your worksheets. It also explains how to show hidden rows in Excel and how to copy only visible rows.
If you want to prevent users from wandering into parts of a worksheet you don’t want them to see, then hide such rows from their view. This technique is often used to conceal sensitive data or formulas, but you may also wish to hide unused or unimportant areas to keep your users focused on relevant information.
On the other hand, when updating your own sheets or exploring inherited workbooks, you would certainly want to unhide all rows and columns to view all data and understand the dependencies. This article will teach you both options.
How to hide rows in Excel
Anyway, you begin with selecting the rows you’d like to hide:
To select multiple contiguous rows, drag across the row headings using the mouse. Or select the first row and hold down the Shift key while selecting the last row.
With the rows selected, proceed with one of the following options.
Hide rows using the ribbon
If you enjoy working with the ribbon, you can hide rows in this way:
Under Visibility, point to Hide & Unhide, and then select Hide Rows.
Either way, the selected rows will be hidden from view straight away.
If you’d rather not take your hands off the keyboard, you can quickly hide the selected row(s) by pressing this shortcut: Ctrl + 9
How to unhide rows in Excel
As with hiding rows, Microsoft Excel provides a few different ways to unhide them. Which one to use is a matter of your personal preference. What makes the difference is the area you select to instruct Excel to unhide all hidden rows, only specific rows, or the first row in a sheet.
Unhide rows by using the ribbon
Here is the Excel Unhide Rows shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + 9
Pressing this key combination (3 keys simultaneously) displays any hidden rows that intersect the selection.
In order to unhide all rows on a sheet, you need to select all rows. For this, you can either:
Press the Select All shortcut: Ctrl + A
Please note that in Microsoft Excel, this shortcut behaves differently in different situations. If the cursor is in an empty cell, the whole worksheet is selected. But if the cursor is in one of contiguous cells with data, only that group of cells is selected; to select all cells, press Ctrl+A one more time.
Once the entire sheet is selected, you can unhide all rows by doing one of the following:
Press Ctrl + Shift + 9 (the fastest way).
How to unhide all cells in Excel
To unhide all rows and columns, select the whole sheet as explained above, and then press Ctrl + Shift + 9 to show hidden rows and Ctrl + Shift + 0 to show hidden columns.
How to unhide specific rows in Excel
Depending on which rows you want to unhide, select them as described below, and then apply one of the unhide options discussed above.
To show one or several adjacent rows, select the row above and below the row(s) that you want to unhide.
To unhide multiple non-adjacent rows, select all the rows between the first and last visible rows in the group.
For example, to unhide rows 3, 7, and 9, you select rows 2 – 10, and then use the ribbon, context menu or keyboard shortcut to unhide them.
How to unhide top rows in Excel
Hiding the first row in Excel is easy, you treat it just like any other row on a sheet. But when one or more top rows are hidden, how do you make them visible again, given that there is nothing above to select?
The clue is to select cell A1. For this, just type A1 in the Name Box, and press Enter.
Tips and tricks for hiding and unhiding rows in Excel
As you have just seen, hiding and showing rows in Excel is quick and straightforward. In some situations, however, even a simple task can become a challenge. Below you will find easy solutions to a few tricky problems.
How to hide rows containing blank cells
To hide rows that contain any blank cells, proceed with these steps:
Select the range that contains empty cells you want to hide.
Press Ctrl + 9 to hide the corresponding rows.
This method works well when you want to hide all rows that contain at least one blank cell, as shown in the screenshot below:
If you want to hide blank rows in Excel, i.e. the rows where all cells are blank, then use the COUNTBLANK formula explained in How to remove blank rows to identify such rows.
How to hide rows based on cell value
To hide and show rows based on a cell value in one or more columns, use the capabilities of Excel Filter. It provides a handful of predefined filters for text, numbers and dates as well as an ability to configure a custom filter with your own criteria (please follow the above link for full details).
To unhide filtered rows, you remove filter from a specific column or clear all filters in a sheet, as explained here.
Hide unused rows so that only working area is visible
In situations when you have a small working area on the sheet and a whole lot of unnecessary blank rows and columns, you can hide unused rows in this way:
Press Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow to extend the selection to the bottom of the sheet.
Press Ctrl + 9 to hide the selected rows.
In a similar fashion, you hide unused columns:
Select an empty column that comes after the last column with data.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow to select all other unused columns to the end of the sheet.
Press Ctrl + 0 to hide the selected columns. Done!
If you decide to unhide all cells later, select the entire sheet, then press Ctrl + Shift + 9 to unhide all rows and Ctrl + Shift + 0 to unhide all columns.
If your worksheet contains hundreds or thousands of rows, it can be hard to detect hidden ones. The following trick makes the job easy.
This will select all visible cells and mark the rows adjacent to hidden rows with a white border:
How to copy visible rows in Excel
Supposing you have hidden a few irrelevant rows, and now you want to copy the relevant data to another sheet or workbook. How would you go about it? Select the visible rows with the mouse and press Ctrl + C to copy them? But that would also copy the hidden rows!
To copy only visible rows in Excel, you’ll have to go about it differently:
Select visible rows using the mouse.
Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected rows.
Press Ctrl + V to paste the visible rows.
Cannot unhide rows in Excel
If you have troubles unhiding rows in your worksheets, it’s most likely because of one of the following reasons.
1. The worksheet is protected
Whenever the Hide and Unhide features are disabled (greyed out) in your Excel, the first thing to check is worksheet protection.
2. Row height is small, but not zero
In case the worksheet is not protected but specific rows still cannot be unhidden, check the height of those rows. The point is that if a row height is set to some small value, between 0.08 and 1, the row seems to be hidden but actually it is not. Such rows cannot be unhidden in the usual way. You have to change the row height to bring them back.
To have it done, perform these steps:
Select a group of rows, including a row above and a row below the problematic row(s).
This will make all hidden rows visible again.
If the row height is set to 0.07 or less, such rows can be unhidden normally, without the above manipulations.
3. Trouble unhiding the first row in Excel
If someone has hidden the first row in a sheet, you may have problems getting it back because you cannot select the row before it. In this case, select cell A1 as explained in How to unhide top rows in Excel and then unhide the row as usual, for example by pressing Ctrl + Shift + 9.
If none of the above tips has worked for you, there is a chance that the hidden rows are a result of filtering. In this case, clear the filters, as explained in How to remove filter in Excel.
This is how you hide and undie rows in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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