How to hide excel columns

Microsoft Excel programs have rows and columns which make up cells. There are times you want to hide information in specific columns. Other times you may need to hide columns with data that you currently don’t need or new regions of a worksheet. Hiding columns presents a worksheet that focuses on just the details area, allowing a user to concentrate on the data’s sole reason. There are several ways to hide columns in Excel. We usually hide columns and even rows using the Hide or Unhide features from the right-click pop-up menu in Excel. Apart from this method, we can use the plus or minus signs in Excel, the format feature, or the Group feature. The good thing is that these methods allow you to hide more than one column simultaneously.

This article teaches you how to hide columns in Excel worksheets using the methods mentioned above.

Method 1: Hiding columns using Hide or Unhide features

  1. Open your Excel file. To do this, double-click on the file to open it in Excel. Or right-click on the spreadsheet file and click open.
  2. Click the column you want to hide. For example, when you want to hide column C at the top of that column cell, select it.
  3. Right-click the selected column, then select Hide from the pop-up menu that appears. A thick double line between the two columns (in our case B & D) indicates that you have hidden a column.

Note that: If you want to unhide the hidden column, right-click on the two adjacent columns (B & D) and select unhide.

Method 2: using Format feature to hide columns.

  1. Launch the spreadsheet you want columns hidden.
  2. Select the columns to hide. In the case of non-continuous ones, use the Ctrl key to select additional columns.
  3. On the main menu ribbon, click on the Home tab.
  4. Under the Cells group, click the drop-down arrow on the Format option.
  5. From the pop-up menu, select hide columns for your columns to be hidden.

Method 3:  using the Group Feature to hide columns.

The Group option is in Excel versions of 2007 to 2016. The feature only works with columns and rows that are elected continuously (columns selected separately with the Ctrl key do not apply here). The below steps explain how to use this option.

  1. In an open worksheet, select the group of columns you want to hide.
  2. On the main ribbon menu, access the Data tab.
  3. Under the Outline section, click on the drop-down arrow on the Group option.
  4. From the two options given, select ‘Group.’
  5. Such a line will appear below the formula bar. Click on the – box to hide the columns.


The Group feature is also known as the Plus or Minus method of hiding columns and rows. After pressing the – box, it will change to a + box. In case you need your columns unhidden, press on this box.


Hiding columns in Excel spreadsheets is easy as all the features are auto-provided. From the methods mentioned above, you can select one that best suits you.

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