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 Outline Symbols.

Hiding Outline Symbols

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 5, 2019)

1

Once you go through the process of outlining your data, you may want to hide the outline symbols that Excel normally displays at the left of the worksheet area. These symbols are helpful as you are working with the data, by may be distracting if you are presenting the data to others. To turn off the symbols, 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. Clear the Outline Symbols check box.
  5. Click on OK.

To again display the symbols, follow the same steps, but make sure the Outline Symbols check box is selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3020) 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 Outline Symbols.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Increasing Point Size

Want to adjust the size of a text selection? Here's a quick shortcut to increase the size.

Discover More

Inserting Hyperlinks

Connect your worksheets with other workbooks or with the world of the Internet. The ability to add hyperlinks makes this ...

Discover More

Displaying Letter Grades

Grading in schools is often done using numeric values. However, you may want to change those numeric values into letter ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adding Buttons to Your Worksheet

You can easily add a button to your worksheet that will allow you to run various macros. This tip shows how easy it is.

Discover More

Embedding an Excel Chart in a Word Document

As components of the Microsoft Office suite, one would expect Excel and Word to work together. One of the most common ...

Discover More

Turning Off Track Changes without Unsharing

The Track Changes tool in Excel can be helpful, but it can also be aggravating because it doesn't allow you to use it on ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 7?

2018-11-15 06:54:43

Mads Tiemroth

In the 2003 version of Excel one only needed to place one single button on ones toolbar to hide (or show) the outline symbols for grouped rows and columns. Now one has to click I don't know how many times. Is there still a shortcut hidden somewhere ?
(As so often before, the best is the enemy of the good. I think that for most users (97-98% ?), the 2003 version was the optimal version, simple and easy to use, whereas the later versions are a pain in the b..).


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.