How to bold or darken the gridlines in Excel

While Excel is great for manipulating large amounts of data, it can take time to learn how to use the program effectively. If you’re struggling to distinguish one cell from another, or perhaps just feel the formatting is missing something, you might want to try enhancing your gridlines. 


  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet 
  2. Highlight the area you’d like to utilise gridlines/borders for 
  3. Click the border icon 
  4. Setup your grid 
  5. Choose a thicker line 
  6. Choose a darker line colour 
  7. Confirm with OK 

In this post we’re going to utilize the display settings for Excel to ensure your gridlines are enabled and visible- whilst also showing you how to set a darker color for your gridlines. Don’t worry if you’re not too adept with Excel, it will all be explained within a step-by-step guide featuring various images. 

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Quick links: 

Enabling and changing the color of your Excel gridline  to make it bold or darker

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Step 1 – Open your Excel spreadsheet 

  • Once you have your spreadsheet open, ensure you have some form of table set up. We’ll be placing a grid around said table afterwards. 

Step 2 – Select the area you’d like to border 

  • Click and hold from the top left corner of the grid, drag your cursor to the bottom right to select the entirety of the table. 

Step 3 – Open more borders via the home tab 

  • From the Home tab select the grid icon (as shown in the image below). Using the dropdown created, scroll to the bottom and select More Borders

Step 4 – Select a colour a colour and style 

  • To make your bordered gridlines stand out more, we recommend using a thicker line style, combined with a darker colour to create the effect of having bold lines. 

Step 5 – Configure border layout and confirm changes 

  • Simply click the boxes corresponding with where you’d like the enhanced lines to appear. If you want them everywhere within the selected area, simply select all boxes, excluding the two diagonals (bottom left and bottom right). Confirm your changes by selecting OK

Step 6 – Review your changes 

  • Have a look at your spreadsheet. If you’re unhappy with the produced effect, try again with a different style and colour — or consider playing around with the grid configuration. 

End note 


Excel provides a border function that can be utilised to format and customise your spreadsheets. This can be utilised to create a bold effect on your gridlines by altering your border’s colour to be darker, whilst also making the border appear thicker. 


As usual, this section is dedicated to thanking readers for their support. We’d be pleased to know you found this post useful and/or informative. If you have any more Office 365 related queries, please consult our related articles (listed below). However, if you have other queries, consider looking at the rest of the site. We’re frequently posting new stuff each week and may just have the guide or troubleshooting tips you need. Regardless, we wish you a good day/night. Farewell readers. 

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Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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