How to Hide Columns in Excel (6 Easy Ways)

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This blog post will examine various ways to hide columns in Excel so that you can improve your data presentation abilities. One of Excel’s key features is the ability to change which columns are visible, making it a potent tool for data organization and analysis. You can concentrate on particular data sets, organize your worksheets, and improve the way information is presented by hiding specific columns.

How to Hide Columns in Excel (6 Easy Ways)

1. Using the Home Tab from the Ribbon

The Excel ribbon offers a user-friendly approach to hiding columns. Follow these simple steps:

  • Select the column(s) you want to hide. Navigate to the “Home” tab on the ribbon >> go to the “Cells” group >> click on the “Format” button >> Choose “Hide & Unhide” and select “Hide Columns“.

Selecting Hide Columns

  • We have hidden column E. In the image, columns D and F are displayed but not column E.

Having the hidden column E

2. Using the Context Menu to Hide Columns in Excel

Excel also provides a convenient context menu option for hiding columns. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Select columns (for example, column E) >> Right-click on the column header(s) you wish to hide >> from the context menu, select “Hide“.

Selecting Hide from the context menu

  • We have hidden column E. In the image, columns D and F are displayed but not column E.

Hidden Column in Excel

3. Using the Keyboard Shortcut to Hide Columns

Efficiency-minded users may prefer using keyboard shortcuts to hide columns quickly. Follow these steps:

  • Select the column(s) you want to hide. Press the “Ctrl” key and the “0” key simultaneously. The selected columns will be hidden instantly.

Keyboard Shortcut to hide

  • You will see a small gap where a column between adjacent columns is hidden. Column C is hidden, so there is a small gap between Column B and Column D.

Hide Columns in Excel

4. Using the Format Dialog Box to Hide Columns in Excel

Excel’s Format dialog box allows for more advanced column visibility control. Here’s how to use it:

  • Select the column(s) you want to hide. Right mouse click >> select Format Cells>> press the “Ctrl” key and the “1” key simultaneously to open the Format Cells dialog box.

Opening the Format Cells dialog box

  • In the dialog box, navigate to “Number” >> Custom >> Enter ;;; in the Type box>> “OK” to hide the selected cells.

The Format Cells dialog box

  • The selected cells are hidden in a column.

Hide cells in Excel

5. Using the Data Tab from the Ribbon to Hide Columns

  • Select columns >> go to Data tab >> Outline >> Group>> Click the minus() sign to hide the columns.

Clicking the minus sign

  • Columns C and D are hidden. You can click the plus sign, to unhide the columns.

Hide Columns in Excel

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6. Using VBA Macro to Hide Columns

  • Go to the Developer tab >> Select Visual Basic or click here to learn about launching the VBA window. 

Selecting Visual Basic

  • Enter the following VBA code to hide column D and column E:
Sub Hide_the_Columns()
Columns("D:E").Hidden = True
End Sub

Entering the VBA code

  • Now columns D and E are not displayed in Excel.

Hide Column in Excel

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How to Unhide Hidden Columns

📌 Method 1: Using Context Menu

If you have hidden columns and need to make them visible again, Excel offers several methods for unhiding them. These include using the ribbon, context menu, keyboard shortcuts, and the Format Cells dialog box. The steps may vary slightly depending on the method you choose, but the principle remains the same.

  • Select the left corner of your worksheet>> Right mouse click on any columns(as columns are hidden).

Using Context Menu to Unhide

  • Now in the following image, we can see all the columns.

Unhide Columns in Excel

📌 Method 2: Using VBA to Unhide Columns

  • Enter the following VBA code to unhide any columns:
Sub Unhide_Columns_in_Whole_Workbook()
Dim x As Worksheet
For Each x In Worksheets
x.Columns.EntireColumn.Hidden = False
Next x
End Sub

Entering the VBA code

  • Here is the final image of Using VBA to Unhide Columns.

Unhide Columns in Excel Using VBA

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Things to Remember

Column Dependencies: Before hiding a column, ensure that it does not contain important data or formulas that are used in other parts of your worksheet. Hiding a column can affect calculations or references in your workbook.

Print Considerations: When preparing your worksheet for printing, remember that hidden columns may still be included in the printed output. Adjust the print settings accordingly to exclude hidden columns if needed.

Data Integrity: Hiding columns does not protect or secure the data within them. If you have sensitive information, consider using other methods, such as data protection or password encryption, to safeguard your data.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can hidden columns still be referenced in formulas?

Answer: Yes, hidden columns can still be referenced in formulas. Formulas that refer to hidden columns will continue to calculate as normal. However, it’s important to ensure that the hidden column’s data is not critical for the formula’s accuracy.

2. Can hidden columns be seen by others who access my Excel file?

Answer: Yes, anyone with access to the Excel file can unhide the hidden columns. Hiding columns in Excel is not a security measure to protect sensitive information. If you need to secure data, consider using other methods like password protection or encryption.

3. How can I unhide columns in Excel?

Answer: To unhide columns, select the columns on either side of the hidden columns, right-click, and choose the “Unhide” option from the context menu. You can also use the “Format” option in the “Cells” group on the ribbon to unhide columns.

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The ability to manage column visibility in Excel is crucial for efficient data analysis and presentation. Hiding columns can assist you in achieving your objectives, whether they involve removing your worksheets, focusing on specific data sets, or improving the look and feel of your workbooks. You can confidently hide and unhide columns in Excel by using the strategies described in this blog post. Try out these techniques to see how they can improve the presentation and organization of your data.

How to Hide Columns in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Robiul Hossain
Robiul Hossain

Hello, I am Robiul. I’ve completed my BSc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). I have a keen interest in Programming and Data science. I really love to solve problems that help lots of people in their day to day life. Currently, I am working with a highly skilled and motivated Technical Writing team of ExcelDemy. We are committed to bringing you the best possible results of your Microsoft Excel problems.... Read Full Bio

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