Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Hiding Graphics.

Hiding Graphics

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2016)

If you are preparing worksheets that contain graphics, you may want to print the graphics on one version of the worksheet, but not print them on another. For example, you might be preparing a test for students, and the test requires them to draw a graph. You would want the printout of the student version of the test to leave space for drawing a graph, but the printout of the answer sheet should include the graphic showing how the students should answer.

The easiest way to handle this in Excel is to just turn off display of the graphics when you need to print the student test. In order to do this, create a single file that contains the questions and the answers. Assuming the answers are graphic files, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Hide All radio button is selected.
  5. Click on OK. The graphics disappear from the screen. (They are still there; they are simply invisible.)

You can now print your document, as normal. (Excel prints it very quickly since it doesn't need to send the graphics to the printer.) When you later want to see the graphics, repeat the steps, but make sure the Show All radio button is selected in step 3.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2951) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Hiding Graphics.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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