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 March 15, 2014)

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

Picking a Contiguous Range of Table Cells

Creating a table in Word is a relatively simple task. When you want to format or edit information in the table, often the ...

Discover More

Hiding and Unhiding Rows

When building a worksheet, you may need to hide some of the rows or unhide other, previously hidden, rows. It's easy to do; ...

Discover More

Determining the Length of a Text File

When processing plain text files in a macro, it is often helpful to know how much data the file contains. The normal way to ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adding and Using a Combo Box

Combo boxes can be a great way of getting user input in a worksheet. Here's how to add a combo box to your worksheet and put ...

Discover More

Undoing Smart Tag Exclusions

Depending on who you ask, Smart Tags can be really cool or really distracting. If you fall on the "cool" side, you may make a ...

Discover More

Searching a Workbook by Default

When you display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box, you'll notice that any search, by default, will be on the ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 eight minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.