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3 methods to easily grey out all unused area in Excel

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2024-07-12

In Excel, graying out the unused areas of your worksheet can help focus attention on the active data and make your spreadsheet cleaner and more professional, especially when printing or presenting data. This tutorial will guide you through three effective methods to easily gray out all unused areas in Excel. These techniques include hiding unused rows and columns, using the efficient tools provided by Kutools for Excel, and utilizing the Page Break Preview feature.

Grey out unused area by hiding unused rows and columns

Hiding unused rows and columns is a straightforward way to clean up your worksheet by removing distractions from blank spaces. Please follow the steps below to accomplish this task.

Step 1: Select all unused columns in your worksheet.

To select all unused columns to the right of your data, you need to select the first empty column and press Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow.

Step 2: Hide all selected columns

After selecting all unused columns, right click on the selection and choose Hide from the right-clicking menu.

Step 3: Select all unused rows in your worksheet

To select all unused rows below your data, you need to select the first empty row and press Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow.

Step 4: Hide all selected rows

After selecting all unused columns, right click on the selection and choose Hide from the right-clicking menu.


All unused areas in the current worksheet have been greyed out as shown in the screenshot below.

One click to grey out unused area with Kutools for Excel:

Kutools for Excel provides an efficient, one-click solution to grey out unused areas without manually hiding rows and columns.

After installing Kutools for Excel, do as follows to grey out unused area.

Select the range of cells you want to display only, and then select Kutools > Range > Set Scroll Area.

doc grey out unused range6


The current worksheet then displays only the selected area and all unused areas are shown in grey.

Tip: To display all hidden areas, simply select Kutools > Range > Unhide All Ranges.

To use this feature, you should install Kutools for Excel first, please click to download and have a 30-day free trial now!

Grey out unused area with the Page Break Preview feature:

In the Page Break Preview view, the unused area will be greyed out.

Enable the sheet in which you want to display working area only, and click View > Page Break Preview. See screenshot:
doc grey out unused range 2

If you want to go back to normal view, just click Normal under View tab.

Note: Using Page Break Preview in Excel to grey out unused areas focuses primarily on preparing documents for printing, which may not be suitable for users focused on screen-based data management. This mode can complicate navigation, limit interactivity, and misrepresent non-printable areas, potentially misleading those not intending to print. Additionally, it consumes valuable screen real estate and requires specific knowledge to use effectively, making it less ideal for general data analysis and presentation tasks.

Graying out unused areas in Excel sheets helps in focusing on relevant data and gives your spreadsheets a more organized and professional appearance. By implementing these techniques, you can ensure that viewers of your worksheets concentrate only on the essential information. For those eager to delve deeper into Excel's capabilities, our website boasts a wealth of tutorials. Discover more Excel tips and tricks here.


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Bonjour Je souhaite griser certaines parties d'un rectangle sur un document Word? Il s'agit d'expliquer à des enfants comment fabriquer un four solaire à partir d'une boite en carton. Pour expliquer comment placer certaines pieces de ce puzzle d'un nouveau genre afin de les aider à comprendre le fonctionnement de cet outil.
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