How to Find Hidden Columns in Excel 2007

By Shauntelle Hamlett

Hiding columns in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 is a common technique used to manage the display of both electronic and printed versions of a spreadsheet that contains extensive amounts of data. Columns can also be accidentally hidden in the process of changing column sizes. Unhiding the columns is an easy process requiring a few simple steps.

Step 1

Inspect the column headers at the top of the Excel 2007 spreadsheet. The headers are gray and are labeled with letters in consecutive alphabetical order. Note which letters are missing from the headers. These missing letters indicate which columns are hidden.

Step 2

Reveal single or consecutively hidden columns by clicking on the two columns that would be on either side of the hidden columns. For example, if column “B” is missing (hidden), you will click on columns “A” and “C” to select them. To continue that example, if columns “B” through “F” are hidden, you will click on columns “A” and “G” to select them. Be sure to click on the actual gray column header to select the complete column rather than a specific cell within the column.

Step 3

Click the “Home” tab if you are not already on that tab. Then click the “Cells” group to show the drop-down menu. Click the “Format” button, which will reveal another drop-down menu. On this new menu, scroll down to the “Hide & Unhide” option (under Visibility). This will reveal one more menu that contains the options to “Unhide Rows” and “Unhide Columns.” Select “Unhide Columns.” Your missing columns will be revealed.

Step 4

Alternatively, you can follow Step 2 to select the two columns adjacent to your hidden columns and then right-click to reveal a shortcut menu. Click “Unhide” on that menu to reveal the hidden columns.

Tips & Warnings

  • If column “A” is hidden, you only need to select the first adjacent column to start the unhiding process. For example, if columns “A” through “C” are hidden, select column “D” and then right-click. The shortcut menu will give you an “Unhide” option.This works ONLY when column “A” is hidden; otherwise, you must select two adjacent columns to reveal hidden columns.