How to Hide Columns in Excel with Minus or Plus Sign (2 Quick Ways)

In this article, we will learn how to hide columns in excel with a plus or minus sign. Sometimes, we need to hide columns for performing different tasks easily. Generally, we hide columns using the hide option by right-clicking the mouse. But to hide columns automatically, we can use the plus or minus sign feature. Here, we will show the method of hiding columns with a plus or minus sign.


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2 Ways to Hide Columns in Excel with Minus or Plus Sign

1. Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

We can hide the columns with a plus sign using the group feature very easily. We can utilize this method both for single and multiple groups of columns. Here, we will demonstrate these techniques in the sub-methods below.

1.1 For Single Group of Columns

In this method, we will use a dataset that contains the information on sales amount for the first five months of some sellers. We will try to hide columns and then unhide them using the plus sign.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

Let’s follow the steps to learn this method.

STEPS:

  • First, select the first cells of the columns you want to hide with the help of the mouse. Do not use the Ctrl key to select columns. We have selected Cells D1, E1 & F1 because we want to hide Columns D, E & F.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Secondly, go to the Data tab.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Thirdly, select Group from the Data A drop-down menu will occur.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Now, select Group from the drop-down menu. The Group window will appear.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Choose ‘Columns’ in the Group window.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • After that, a minus sign will occur on the top of the columns we selected to hide just like below.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

You can also use the keyboard shortcut to group columns. To add grouping, select the range of columns and press Shift + Alt + Right Arrow. To remove grouping, press Shift + Alt + Left Arrow.

  • Now, click the minus sign to hide the columns like below. If you select the plus sign, then hidden rows will be visible again.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Similarly, clicking 1 will hide the columns, and clicking 2 will unhide the columns.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature


1.2 For Multiple Groups of Columns

We can also use the plus or minus sign to hide multiple groups of columns. It means we can perform the hiding operation in two or more groups simultaneously. For this method, we will use the same dataset. We already have a group of columns here. We will create another group and then try to hide them using the plus or minus sign. Let’s observe the steps to learn more.

STEPS:

  • First, select the columns you want to group. Here, we have selected Columns F & Column G.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Second, go to the Data tab and select Group.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • After that, select ‘Columns’ from the ‘Groups’ Click OK to proceed.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • After that, you will see two groups of columns like below.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Now, if you click on the minus sign the columns will be hidden and if you click on the plus sign the columns will be visible.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • You can hide both groups of columns like below.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Similarly, if you click 1, both columns will be hidden together.

Hide Columns with Plus Sign Using the Group Feature

  • Finally, to unhide them, click 2.

Read More: How to Group and Ungroup Columns or Rows in Excel


2. Use of Auto Outline to Hide Columns with Plus Sign

We can also use the ‘Auto Outline’ feature to hide columns with a plus sign. We can use this feature if our dataset contains functions like SUM Function or SUBTOTAL Function. To explain this method, we will use the previous dataset but we will add an extra column here. In that column, we will add the total sales amount of the sellers individually. We will use the SUBTOTAL Function to add them.

Follow the steps below.

STEPS:

  • In the beginning, select Cell H6 and type the formula:
=SUBTOTAL(109,C6:G6)
  • Secondly, hit Enter and use the Fill Handle to see results in all cells.

  • Now, go to the Data tab and select Then, select ‘Auto Outline’ from the drop-down menu.

  • After that, you will see the minus sign above the columns that were used in the SUBTOTAL Function.

  • Now, click the minus sign to hide it and the plus sign to unhide the columns.

You can also click the 1 & 2 buttons to hide & unhide respectively.

Read More: How to Unhide Columns in Excel (8 Methods)


Hide Columns Manually in Excel

We can also hide columns manually in our excel worksheet. It is also useful in some cases. Especially, when we try to hide a single column. Observe the steps below.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, select the columns you want to hide. You can use the Ctrl key to select multiple columns.

  • Then, place your cursor on the top of Column D and right-click the mouse.
  • Select, Hide from the drop-down menu.

  • Finally, the columns will be hidden.


Excel Hide Columns Using Keyboard Shortcut

Excel has some keyboard shortcuts to hide/unhide columns that make our job very easy.

  • To hide a single column: Select any cell in the column, and then press Ctrl 0.
  • To hide multiple columns: Press Ctrl and select the columns you want to hide. Then, press Ctrl + 0 to hide them.

Conclusion

We have discussed two easy and quick ways to hide columns with a plus sign here. We have also demonstrated manual way and keyboard shortcuts to hide columns. I hope these methods will help you to hide columns easily. Moreover, the practice book is also added at the beginning of the article. You can download it to exercise. Last of all, if you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.


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Mursalin

Mursalin

Hi there! This is Mursalin. I am an Excel and VBA content developer as well as an electrical and electronics engineer. I am always motivated to gather knowledge from different sources and find solutions to problems in easier ways. I am currently working and doing research on Microsoft Excel. Here I will be posting articles related to Microsoft Excel.

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