Partly Secret Way to Hide a Worksheet

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Key to Instructions

To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we used two different typefaces:

Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.

Sans serif type shows the names of files and the names of commands and instructions that users should type into the computer.


I have to send Excel data sheets to various department heads and some of this information is not meant to be seen by everyone. I can hide rows or columns, but anyone can spot the omissions in the alpha and numeric sequence of the rows and columns. I’d like to hide them in such a way that viewers don’t know they are all hidden.

Excel has anticipated your problem. It has two ways to do that. As you pointed out, one way is to hide selected rows or columns by highlighting them and then clicking on Format , on either Row or Column (see screenshot) and then on Hide .

But, as you say, it is obvious to the viewer that they are missing—and therefore probably hidden—because the row numbers aren’t contiguous (see screenshot below).

The more stealthy method lets you hide whole worksheets without leaving any obvious clues. Again click on Format , only this time click on Sheet , which brings up a menu that includes the Hide command (see screenshot below).

Someone looking at the spreadsheet wouldn’t know a worksheet was missing—unless, of course, the worksheet tabs were numbered consecutively.

Excel lets you hide as many sheets as you wish in a file. To unhide the worksheet, repeat the above process, only click on Unhide . If you’ve hidden several, Excel will display their names when you click on Unhide . Select the ones you want unhidden and click on OK .

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