Tip of the week # 478
27 February 2016

Find hidden rows and columns in your worksheet (Microsoft Excel) *

In Excel you can temporarily reduce the number of rows or columns that appear in a worksheet by hiding them. When you hide any part of a workbook, the data is only removed from the view of that workbook; it is not removed from the workbook itself. If you save the workbook and close the file, any information previously hidden will remain hidden when you reopen the file.

So what if you want to unhide your hidden rows or columns, but cannot find them? After all, these days the number of rows is 1,048,576 and there are 16,384 columns (not that I'm counting) so you'll be excused not to notice whether your column heading jumps from, say, XEX to XEZ. Tip 250 explains how to unhide all rows and columns. But if that's not what you are after, you can search for hidden rows and columns and only unhide those that you want to unhide.

Here's how:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select, and then click Go To Special. (Or press CTRL + G and click on the Special button.)
  2. Click the Visible cells only radio button and click OK or press ENTER.

All hidden rows and columns are marked with a white border. If you point just underneath the row number of the hidden row or to the right of letter of the hidden column and wait until your mouse pointer turns into a split two-headed arrow you can simple double-click or click and drag to unhide it.

With thanks to John Moore for this week's tip inspiration!

See tip 232 (tip_232.php) and tip 250 (tip_250.php) for additional information related to hiding and unhiding rows and columns.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.