How Do I Expand and Collapse in Excel?


Hiding rows and columns in Excel 2010 and 2013 removes them from the visible window, leaving only a small marker for reference, but doesn't actually delete cell contents. Excel can hide multiple rows or columns to help emphasize the results of a project while hiding calculations or other behind-the-scenes steps. Excel -- and all other Office applications -- can also hide the ribbon menu to provide more usable space on the screen.

Show or Hide Rows and Columns

  • To hide cells on a spreadsheet, select one or more rows or columns by clicking and dragging on the row or column headings. Click "Format" in the Cells section of the Home tab, pick "Hide & Unhide" and choose either "Hide Rows" or "Hide Columns." Restore the hidden cells by selecting a group of rows or columns spanning the hidden range and picking "Unhide Rows" or "Unhide Columns." You can also select rows or columns, right-click anywhere in the selection and pick "Hide" or "Unhide" from the pop-up menu. While collapsed, cells continue to function normally -- hidden formulas still produce results, and other formulas can point to hidden cells without issue.

Collapse or Expand the Ribbon

  • To collapse or expand the menu ribbon in any Office 2010 application, including Excel, click the small arrow near the "Minimize," "Maximize Down/Restore" and "Close" buttons on the top right of the title bar. With the ribbon collapsed, clicking a tab shows its contents until you make a selection from the menu or click somewhere in the spreadsheet. In Office 2013, click this arrow to see a list of three options. Choosing "Show Tabs" or "Show Tabs and Commands" switches between the collapsed and expanded states of these elements. The new option, "Auto-hide Ribbon," hides the entire bar until you click near the top of the window and works only in full-screen mode. In either version of Office, except when you have "Auto-hide Ribbon" enabled in Office 2013, press "Ctrl-F1" to quickly expand or collapse the ribbon.


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