Excel is an awesome tool. The more I learn about it the more I fall in love with it.
The team that has built Excel has put in a lot of thinking behind it and they continuously work on improving the user experience.
But there are still somethings that I find irritating and often need to change the default settings.
And one such thing is dotted lines in the worksheet in Excel.
In this tutorial, I will show you the possible reasons why these dotted lines appear and how to remove these dotted lines.
So let’s get started!
This Tutorial Covers
Possible Reasons for Dotted Lines in Excel
There can be various reasons for the dotted lines to appear in Excel:
- Due to Page breaks where Excel visually show page breaks as dotted lines
- Borders that have been set to show as dotted lines
- Gridlines that appear in the whole worksheet. These are not really dotted lines (rather faint solid lines that looks like dotted borders around the cells)
Your worksheet can have any one or more of these settings and you can easily remove these lines and disable it.
How to Remove Dotted Lines in Excel
Let’s dive in and see how to remove these dotted lines in Excel in each scenario.
Removing the Page Break Dotted Lines
This is one of the most irritating things for me in Excel. Sometimes, I see these page-breaks dotted lines (as shown below) that just refuse to go away.
Now, I understand the utility and purpose of keeping these. It divides your worksheet into sections and you would know what part will be printed on one page and what will spill over.
A super easy (but not ideal) fix of this is to close the workbook and open again. Reopening a workbook will remove the page break dotted lines.
Here is a better way to remove these dotted lines:
- Click on the File tab
- Click on Options
- In the Excel Options dialog box that opens, click on the Advanced option in the left pane
- Scroll down to the section – “Display options for this worksheet”
- Uncheck the option – “Show page breaks”
The above steps would stop showing the page break dotted line for the workbook.
Note that the above steps would stop showing the dotted lines only for the workbook in which you have unchecked this option. For other workbooks, you will have to repeat the same process if you want to get rid of the dotted lines.
In case you have set the print area in the worksheet, the dotted lines will not be shown. Instead, you will see solid lined outlining the print area.
Removing Dotted Lines Border
In some cases (not as common as page break though), people may use dotted lines as the border.
Something as shown below:
To remove these dotted lines, you can either remove the border completely or change the dotted line border to the regular solid line border.
Below are the steps to remove these dotted borders:
- Select the cells from which you want to remove the dotted border
- Click the Home tab
- In the Font group, click on the ‘Border’ drop-down
- In the border options that appear, click on ‘No Border’
The above steps would remove any borders in the selected cells.
In case you want to replace the dotted border with some other type of border, you can do that as well.
While the gridlines are not dotted lines (these are solid lines), some people still think that these look like dotted lines (as these are quite faint).
These gridlines are applied to the entire worksheet and you can easily make them disappear.
Below are the steps to remove these:
- Click on the View tab
- In the Show group, uncheck the Gridlines option
That’s it! The above steps would remove all the gridlines from the worksheet. In case you want the Gridlines back, simply go back and check the same option.
So these are three ways you can remove the dotted lines in Excel.
I hope you found this tutorial useful!
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