How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel (3 Quick Methods)

If you are searching for the solution or some special tricks to grey out unused cells in Excel then you have landed in the right place. There are 3 easy ways to grey out unused cells in Excel. This article will show you each and every step with proper illustrations so you can easily apply them for your purpose. Let’s get into the main part of the article.


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3 Methods to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

Suppose, you have a worksheet that contains data in cells of the B2:D12 range. And you want to grey out the remaining cells of the worksheet. In this section, I will show you 3 quick and easy methods to grey out unused cells in Excel on Windows operating system. You will find detailed explanations of methods and formulas here. I have used Microsoft 365 version here. But you can use any other versions as of your availability. If any methods don’t work in your version then leave us a comment.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel


1. Apply Conditional Formatting to Grey Out Unused Cells

You can use conditional formatting to grey out the unused cells of a worksheet. Follow the steps below:

📌 Steps:

  • First, select all cells of the worksheet by clicking the top-left corner of the worksheet.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells

  • Then, go to the Home tab and click on Conditional Formatting.
  • Under this, select the New Rule option.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

  • Now, a window named “New Formatting Rule” will appear.
  • Here, select the Rule Type saying “Format only cells that contain”.
  • Then, select “Blanks” in the “Format only cells with” box.
  • After that, go to the Format option.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

  • Then, a new window named “Format Cells” will appear.
  • Go to the Fill tab here.
  • And select any shades of grey as the background color.
  • Finally, press OK.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

  • Also, click OK in the “New Formatting Rule”.
  • And click on the Apply option in the “Conditional Formatting”.
  • As a result, you will see that all cells except those containing data are greyed out.

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

Read More: How to Remove Unused Cells in Excel (8 Easy Ways)


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2. Use Page Break Preview Button

Alternatively, there is another feature in Excel that greys out the unused cells automatically by using page break. Follow the steps below-

📌 Steps:

  • Open the workbook and go to the View
  • Then, click on the Page break Review

How to Grey Out Unused Cells in Excel

  • As an outcome, you will see that the cells with data are separated on page 1, and the remaining cells are greyed out.

Using Page Break Preview Button

Read More: What Is Page Break View in Excel?


3. Grey Out Unused Cells with Fill Color Feature

You can use the Fill Color feature to grey out the unused cells in the worksheet. For this, you have to select the unused cells and apply any shades of grey color to fill the cells. Follow the steps below:

📌 Steps:

  • First, click on the row header of the next row after the end of the dataset.
  • Then, press the Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow on the keyboard.
  • You will see all rows under the dataset have been selected.

Using Fill Color Feature

  • Now, just press the right button of the mouse to open the options.
  • Here, click on the Fill Color

Using Fill Color Feature

  • Then select a shade of grey color to apply as the fill color on the selected cells.

Using Fill Color Feature

  • You can also use the Fill Color feature from the top ribbon.
  • You will find it in the Home

Using Fill Color Feature

  • As a result, you will see that all rows under the dataset have been filled with a grey color.

Using Fill Color Feature

  • Then, you have to grey out the remaining cell on the right side of the dataset.
  • For this, click on column header E after the end of the dataset.
  • Then, press the Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow key on the keyboard to select all columns on the right side of the column.

Using Fill Color Feature

  • After selecting all the remaining columns go to the fill color option by rightclicking the mouse on any cells.
  • And, select any shades of grey as the fill color.

Using Fill Color Feature

  • As a result, you will see that all the blank cells on the right and bottom sides of the dataset have been greyed out.

Using Fill Color Feature

Read More: How to Show Only Working Area in Excel (3 Quick Tricks)


Things to Remember

  • Using the Conditional Formatting feature will allow us to grey out all the unused cells of the worksheet. So it’s the best suitable method.
  • Using the Page Break Review feature will create a watermark of the page number on the dataset. So, it may become problematic for the user.
  • And using the Fill Color option is sort of a manual method to apply color. You have to select all the unused cells manually and then apply a color to them

Conclusion

In this article, you have found how to grey out unused cells in Excel. I hope you found this article helpful. You can visit our website ExcelDemy to learn more Excel-related content. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.


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Osman Goni Ridwan

Osman Goni Ridwan

I am Ridwan, graduated from Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Dept, BUET, currently residing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And my passion is to grow up my skillsets with industry demands. My prime goal is to be a data analyst as I do love to solve problems and play with data.

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