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Gaining Screen Space in MS Excel

Do you struggle in a constant battle with Excel and your computer monitor?

Do you always feel like you can’t see enough at one time… whether the problem is a small monitor or a very large worksheet?

Either way, you want to see more without shrinking everything – the eyesight is bad enough – we certainly don’t need to be squinting to read tiny print all day.

While I can’t do anything about the size of your monitor and I can’t change too much about the amount of the space that Excel needs to function, there are a couple of suggestions I have for you … maybe you’ll get just that little extra bit of visible worksheet space to work more efficiently.

I actually have two suggestions today, so let’s begin with the one that will gain you the most space and will work with all the Microsoft programs using the Ribbon instead of menus.

We’re going to look at minimizing the Ribbon.

Right-click on the Ribbon and then choose Minimize the Ribbon.


This will make the bulk of the Ribbon invisible like this:


As you can see the tab names are still there but you don’t actually see the elements on each tab.

Simply click on a tab name to temporarily display the full Ribbon. When you’re done it will minimize itself again.

(A right-click on the Ribbon area will allow you to deselect the minimize choice, making the entire Ribbon visible at all times.)

My next suggestion is Excel specific – and that’s to remove the column and row headings from view.

Column and row headings?

Yep – you know, the numbers and letters used to label each row or column. They’re used for cell location references.

We can choose not to display them like this:


All it took was to uncheck the Headings option on the View tab of the Ribbon.


You may wonder how you’re supposed to know a cell’s location without the headings… I’ll admit that it’s not as easy but you will find that a cell’s location is displayed on the left side Formula bar.

With these combined attempts at increasing your usable screen space you can go from this:


to this:


Not too bad for a couple of clicks that are easily used and then reversed whenever necessary!

~ April