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Hide columns in Excel (full guide with 8 methods)

As an Excel user, you may need to hide columns for various reasons. For example, you want to temporarily hide some columns to simplify the worksheet and make it easier to read and work with, hide columns with sensitive data, or hide some unwanted columns when printing a worksheet.
This tutorial provides 8 step-by-step methods to help you easily hide columns in Excel. Furthermore, if you need to hide rows or unhide columns in Excel, you can also get the relevant methods in this tutorial as well.


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Hide columns in Excel

This section provides common and useful methods to help you hide columns in Excel.

Hide columns with the Hide option in the context menu

The most common method to hide columns in Excel is using the Hide option in the context menu. Here I will show you step-by-step how to use this option to hide columns.

Step 1: Select the columns you want to hide
  • To hide a column: Click the column letter to select it.
  • To hide multiple adjacent columns: Click the column letter of the first column you need to hide, then hold and drag the mouse to the right to select the other columns
    (Or you can hold down the Shift key, click on the column letter of the first column and the last column you want to hide).
  • To hide multiple non-adjacent columns: Click the column letter to select a column, hold down the Ctrl key, then select the other columns you need one by one.

In this case, I click the column letter C to select the “Date of birth” column first, hold and drag the mouse to the column letter D to select the adjacent “Age” column, then hold down the Ctrl key, click the column letter F to select the “Title” column.

Step 2: Apply the Hide option in the context menu

Right click on any column letter of the selected columns, and then select Hide from the right-clicking menu.

Note: If you select one column or multiple adjacent columns, just right click on any cell of the selection to open the context menu and apply the Hide option.
Result

The double line between two columns is an indicator that you've hidden a column.

Note: To make the hidden columns visible, just select the columns adjacent to the hidden columns you want to unhide, right click the selection and select Unhide from the right clicking menu. To know more methods of unhiding columns in Excel, take a look at this tutorial: Unhide columns in Excel.

Hide columns with a single click using Kutools

Here the Column list pane of Kutools for Excel is highly recommended for you. With this feature, you can easily hide and unhide columns with a single click without having to select them beforehand.

Usage:

  1. Select Kutools > Navigation to open the Navigation pane of Kutools.
  2. In the Navigation pane, click this icon to open the Column list, then you can hide a column by clicking the eye icon to the right of the column header (click the eye icon again to unhide the column).
Note: To use this feature, you should have Kutools for Excel installed on your computer. Go to download Kutools for Excel to get a 30-day free trial with no limitations.

Hide columns with shortcut

This section demonstrates how to use the shortcut “Ctrl + 0” to hide selected columns in Excel.

Step 1: Select the columns you want to hide
  • To hide a column: Click the column letter to select it.
  • To hide multiple adjacent columns: Click the column letter of the first column you need to hide, then hold and drag the mouse to the right to select the other columns
    (Or you can hold down the Shift key, click on the column letter of the first column and the last column you want to hide).
  • To hide multiple non-adjacent columns: Click the column letter to select a column, hold down the Ctrl key, then select the other columns you need one by one.
Step 2: Press Ctrl + 0 together

In this case, I select three columns: “Date of birth”, “Age” and “Title”, then press the Ctrl + 0 keys together to hide them all.

Result

The double line between two columns is an indicator that you've hidden a column.

Hide columns with the Format option on the ribbon

If you do not like using the right-clicking menu, you can apply the Hide Columns feature in the Format option on the ribbon. Please do as follows.

Step 1: Select any cell within the columns you want to hide

Just select the columns or any cell within the columns you want to hide. Here I hold down the Ctrl key to select one cell in each of these three columns “Date of birth”, “Age” and “Title”.

Step 2: Apply the Hide Columns option on the ribbon

Go to the Home tab, click Format > Hide & Unhide > Hide Columns in the Cells group.

Result

The double line between two columns is an indicator that you've hidden a column.

Hide columns with plus sign (Group feature)

If you frequently need to hide and unhide specific columns, for example, the columns "Date of birth," "Age," and "Title" need to be hidden most of the time, but sometimes you need to unhide them temporarily to check the data. In this case, you can group the columns and use the plus and minus signs to toggle their visibility.

Note: Do not use the Ctrl key to select nonadjacent columns since the Group feature does not support multiple selections. So, I need to firstly group the adjacent columns “Date of birth”, “Age” and then group the “Title” column separately.
Step 1: Select the "Date of birth" and "Age" columns

Here I click the column number C to select the “Date of birth” column, and then hold and drag the mouse to the column letter D to select the adjacent “Age” column together.

Step 2: Apply the Group feature

Go to the Data tab, click Group > Group in the Outline group.

Then you can see an outline symbol displayed above the selected columns.

Step 3: Group the “Title” column separately

Select the “Title” column, repeat the above step 1 and 2 to group this column separately.

Result

You can click the minus (-) sign at the top of the group to hide all the columns within the group. See the below demo.

Note: Click the plus (+) sign to show the columns again.

Hide columns with VBA code

Suppose you have a large table with many columns in your worksheet and want to hide multiple adjacent and non-adjacent columns at the same time. You can run VBA code to automate the process of hiding the columns instead of hiding them manually.

The below VBA code helps to hide the columns C:F, L:N and Z in the worksheet at the same time. Please do as follows step-by-step.

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window

In the worksheet you want to hide certain columns, press the Alt + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

Step 2: Open the Module code window and enter the code

In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, click Insert > Module, and then copy the following code in the Module (code) window.

VBA code: Hide certain columns in a worksheet

Sub HideColumns()
'Updated by Extendoffice 20230511
    Dim ColumnsToHide As Range
    Set ColumnsToHide = Range("C:F,L:N,Z:Z") 'Replace with the range of columns you want to hide    
    ColumnsToHide.EntireColumn.Hidden = True
End Sub

Note: You can modify the range "C:F,L:N,Z:Z" in this line Set ColumnsToHide = Range("C:F,L:N,Z:Z") to include the columns that you want to hide. The range can contain both adjacent and nonadjacent columns.
Step 3: Press the F5 key to run the code

Then all specified columns C:F, L:N and Z are hidden immediately.


Hide unused columns in Excel

Sometimes you may need to hide all unused columns and make only the working area visible in your worksheet. Hiding unused columns in a worksheet can help make the data in the worksheet easier to read. It can also help to reduce visual clutter and make it easier to focus on the relevant data. This section will show you two methods to accomplish this task.

Hide unused columns with shortcut

This section provides two shortcuts to help you select the unused columns, and then hide the selected columns. Please do as follows.

Step 1: Select all unused columns

Select the column to the right of the last column with data.
Here I select the column H by clicking the column number H. And then press Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow to select all unused columns to the right of the used range.

Step 2: Hide all unused columns

After selecting all unused columns, press the Ctrl + 0 keys to hide them all at once.

Result

Hide unused columns with a single click using Kutools

The previous method requires you to remember shortcut keys. To make it easier, we highly recommend using the Set Scroll Area feature of Kutools for Excel. This feature allows you to hide all unused columns with just one click. Follow the steps below to do it.

Usage:

  1. Select the columns with data (here I select the columns from A to G).
  2. Select Kutools > Show & Hide > Set Scroll Area. Then you can see all unused columns are hidden immediately.

Note: To use this feature, you should have Kutools for Excel installed on your computer. Go to download Kutools for Excel to get a 30-day free trial with no limitations.

Hide rows in Excel

This section briefly demonstrates how to hide rows in a worksheet using the Hide option in the right-clicking menu.

  1. Select the rows you want to hide. Here I click the row number 5 to select the fifth column, hold down the Ctrl key, then click the row number 8 to select the eighth column.
  2. Right click on any row number of the selected rows and select Hide from the right-clicking menu.

Note: You also can press the Ctrl + 9 keys to hide the selected rows.


Unhide columns in Excel

To unhide columns, the following method can help.

Unhide all hidden columns

  1. Click the Select All button (the small triangle in the upper left corner of the worksheet) to select the entire worksheet.
  2. Right click on any column letter and select “Unhide” from the right-clicking menu.

Unhide certain hidden columns

  1. Select the columns adjacent to the hidden columns. For example, to unhide column C and D, you would select column B and E.
  2. Right click the selection and select Unhide from the right-clicking menu.
Note: To know more methods of unhiding columns in Excel, take a look at this tutorial: Unhide columns in Excel.

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